St Mark's Mansfield

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A growing community

Sheila and Isobel in Henley Hall gardenChatting to East Midlands in Bloom assessors Nigel and Catherine when they visited St Mark’s Community Garden last Friday,  it dawned on me that community gardening isn’t just about plants.   As the RHS experts enthusiastically explored every nook and cranny of the church gardens, I thought how much we’ve collaborated and shared, compromised, listened and learned from one another as we’ve helped to shape the beautiful and productive gardens around St Mark’s Church.

We’re all so different but that’s the joy of it.   Sheila is methodical and tidy, with an innate understanding of how things grow and need to be tamed.   Her aim is to ‘get things sorted’!   John likes to be told what to do and loves to finish a job well.   He’s a dab hand with a saw or a hammer!   Clive faithfully mows the lawns and would welcome an assistant who might empty the grass box or occasionally take over the machine so he can sit a while and enjoy the view.   Isobel loves messing around with organic comfrey brews and grubbing about in the compost.   She grimaces at the mention of slug pellets!

Last Thursday we were all pottering in the garden together.   Diversity and companionship – the key to a successful eco-system and to a working community, with a variety of styles, plants, insects and people all giving support to one another.   We are a visible sign of God’s presence at St Mark’s.   Whatever your style, do come and join us!

O God, Creator of all beauty and harmony, in whom we live and move and have our being, we pray that our gardening may be a care-taking of your creation and our community a reflection of your love.   We garden in faith and hope and work together in love for the sake of your Son, Our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

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Remembering Thomas

It is not growing like a tree

In bulk, doth make men better be:

The cherry tree planted last year by the young people of St Mark's in memory of their friend Thomas Burton who died on 9 July 2014

The cherry tree planted last year by the young people of St Mark’s in memory of their friend Thomas Burton who died on 9 July 2014

Or standing long as oak, three hundred year,

To fall at last, dry, bald and sere:

A lily of a day

Is fairer far in May,

Although it fall and die that night

It was the plant and flower of light.

In small proportion we just beauty see;

And in short measure, life may perfect be.

Ben Jonson



Thomas Burton



The flowers in Church have been donated in Thomas’ memory by his family and arranged by Ann Pradhan.

Thomas Burton 12th July 2000 – 9th July 2014