by Rev Clive Ayre
That, of course, was the question addressed to “Mary, Mary, quite contrary”! I’m sure you remember her from your childhood! But if one were to ask people today, “how does your garden grow?”, several different answers may be possible. But an increasing number of people would have to reply with a counter-question: “What garden? I live in a high-rise unit, and a garden is not possible”.
A Community Garden is not a totally new idea, although it may seem as if it is. Earlier this year CKCC agreed to such a project, and we secured a small grant to get us started. If you look at the garden near the Henry Street boundary, you will see the beginnings of our project. Why might we set out to do this? There are several reasons.
Importantly, it brings people together, as we see in the picture; and for those who might lack the needed skill or “know-how”, that sense of community is most important. It means that those who live in a high-rise apartment are able to be included in a way that enables them to enjoy the garden, and maybe some fresh vegetables! We already have some indications of interest from the community. It becomes another means of outreach.
More than that, community gardens have become one of the means at our disposal in caring for creation. The impact of such a garden can be very significant, as it was, for example, at Eden in southern NSW; the small UC congregation established its “Garden of Eden” as part of its eco-mission, and its impact in lots of other related areas was very great. In addition to a garden for vegetables or flowers, it can also take the form of a space for spiritual reflection and contemplation, which in turn can impact positively on community well-being and health. It doesn’t have to be large, but through the use of strategically placed signs, people may be better able to connect faith and the natural world.
We are delighted that Rob Anscombe has agreed to be the Project Convenor, and we hope that you will share the vision of what such a project could mean for our Church and community. This is something that needs to be “owned” by us all.