Dedication of the memorial garden

CITY URC’s recreated Memorial Garden was dedicated by the Revd Martha McInnes in memory of long-time church member Mary Cashmore, whose generous legacy made the transformation possible.
Members of Mary’s family joined the congregation for the service, held in the garden under the canopies, with a few chairs but most people standing around – with the garden looking gorgeous in the Spring sunshine and many of the newly planted bulbs and plants blooming or beginning to sprout.
Elder Alison McQueen, who assisted Revd Martha, said the church had a vision to transform the smallish garden area under its two beautiful big trees into an eco-friendly, calm city-centre space, where both people and nature could find a safe haven. The new garden, designed by Pam Creed, had completely fulfilled the vision.
A Bible passage from Psalm 96 was read by Alison Tansom.
Beth Charles, who knew Mary well, was asked to speak on behalf of City’s congregation. She recalled Mary’s long career in the Foreign Office, living and working in many different cities across the world. She said Mary particularly enjoyed her long stay in Florence, which she loved, commenting, ‘She was a linguist and a polyglot’.
Recalling her well-known fondness for the church garden, Beth said Mary believed the outside of the church should reflect what was going on inside the church. That was why it was of such concern to her when the garden became unkempt. She wanted to do something about that.

So concerned was she to do that something, she had bequeathed funds to the church for that purpose – and part of her legacy was now all around us. Beth concluded: ‘It is a fitting tribute to Mary that the garden is now a tranquil place to sit and see the flowers bloom as the season change.’
The dedication ended by inviting everyone to take a flower from a large vase of lovely daffodils to lay on the memorial bench in the quiet corner, inscribed in memory of Mary, to remember either Mary or someone else they wanted to think about.
Garden designer, Pam Creed, who gave her services free as a gift to the church and the wider community, attended the service. All the new bulbs and plants were planted by church members and friends, under Pam’s direction – on a very cold wet winter’s day in late December! – and Pam had kept most of the original bigger shrubs, so at the garden dedication the garden was filled with signs of new life to come.
Pam was among the wide range of people thanked by Alison McQueen for contributing to the establishment of the garden, as was Synod Property Officer Claire Boot, who helped to guide negotiations on the garden through Wales URC Synod Office, and also attended the service.
The dedication was followed by tea/ coffee and refreshments served in the Old Chapel.

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