Memorial Garden Plans

Building, Churchyard, Remembrance

To most people, this photo is probably really rather dull; an empty field and a wooden fence. So what? However, there are those who remember that in 1994 the parish bought this land –  next to St Nicholas’ churchyard on the south and east side and once part of the Bishop’s Lodge kitchen garden – with a most generous donation from John Hillsley. This new fence replaces one put up at the time, as a condition of the purchase.

Since then, the land has remained unused and undeveloped and yet the original intention, that of creating a new addition to the churchyard for the interment of cremated remains, has never been lost nor forgotten. It was earlier this year that the old and rotten fence was replaced; likewise, the decrepit brick wall on the opposite side of the field has recently been spruced up and cleared of the ivy that had been damaging it including, in the winter storms, the ivy lifting off and bringing down two or three rows of loose bricks!

Along with some careful tree maintenance, preparations for the new Garden of Remembrance/Memorial Garden have been quietly progressing and, as we now have the support of both the local Crawley planners and the Diocesan authorities, we are all set to complete the garden. There will be a permeable resin bound path, 1.2 metres wide x 80 metres long, creating an enclosed space in the middle of the garden where unmarked interments will be and along the outer edge of the path, provision will be made for burial plots with granite tablets for other interments.  Some curved, two-seater oak benches will be placed along the path at suitable intervals and these, as well as a very few, carefully-selected mature trees will be available for people to purchase in memory of a loved one. Speak to Father Michael if you are interested in this – details are yet to be confirmed but the cost would probably be in the region of £400-£500.

Father Michael

A St Nicholas’ parishioner adds: “At the time of land purchase, there was a lot of parishioner participation even including clearing the ground and people also gave financially over some years for this project. In 2000, the Millennium Brass Band performed a concert on the designated land with money raised going into the pot as well. However, other things took priority and the land remained undeveloped. The Churchyard Maintenance team have been mowing the grass there in recent years and both they, and all who have contributed to this project in the past, will be very pleased to see this project coming to fruition.”

Joan Tick



On Remembrance, from Bishop Mark

Remembrance, Special Services

My grandfather fought at The Somme but died when I was a little boy. My late mother was only thirteen when the Second World War ended. I have no memory whatever of those wars that our annual Remembrance Sunday first commemorated. There is, however, no sign of these commemorations disappearing with the generations who lived through the great wars of the twentieth century. What, though, do we mean today, by ‘remember’?

Literature, photography and film-making preserve our awareness of the sacrifices made during the world wars. Subsequent conflicts continue to take the lives of those serving in the armed forces. We remember what we have learned about the horrors of past wars and we remember those who, today, put their lives on the line, often in the cause of peace in distant countries. We remember and honour servicemen and women who lay aside their personal safety for the sake of others.

Images of the Christian Soldier are less popular than once they were, but it is worth remembering that a soldier fights for king and kingdom, never for self but always for the rights and wellbeing of those who cannot fight for themselves. Ought we not all to be soldiers of Christ and of his advancing Kingdom?

+Mark Horsham