rector julie

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year to you all.

Isaiah 24:4 Trust in the Lord Forever. For in God the Lord we have an everlasting rock.

Our new Garden of Remembrance at St Mary's is now finished. It is an amazing original design, created and designed from our drawings. It has been a wonderful work to watch develop over the months. From the initial drawings and designs, to working with our church architect, the plans are then sent to the Diocesan Advisory Committee. This committee provides advice and support through all stages of the project. As a PCC we had the task of choosing the stone and an inscription. We all had a desire to choose a memorial stone that was original and unique. Like any good project that is to be long lasting for future generations, the ground works and attention to detail are very important. As I stand in the churchyard and look at our new Garden of Remembrance, I think we have achieved a beautiful area for the community of Hartfield and for future generations. The quarried stones with their beautiful cross carved out through the centre reflect the stone of the church. The stones were designed to lean gently, to reflect the words of Proverbs 3:5-6

5. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

6. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths

A picture of our need to lean on the Lord in times of sadness and sorrow with a reminder of the cross on which Jesus died. The cross that brings us the hope of eternal life and the love of God. Some of you have asked me what the practical arrangements are for burials within the Garden. The plots will be on a grid system with a careful recording of each burial. The Diocese does not allow us to place individual plaques for each burial. If families would like to record the name of their loved one, an inscription and the date they died, the names are recorded in the memorial book which is kept in our memorial cabinet in church. The pages of the memorial book are open and displayed for each month. There is a proper process and cost for the names to be included in the book.

At our Remembrance day Service in November. I reminded us all that we were part of the present and the future of this community. Whether we be in Hartfield or Coleman's Hatch, I hope each of us will be mindful of our own legacy to future generations. As a church we see this Garden of Remembrance as an investment, a gift of love and a unique place of beauty. It is a place where we can come and give thanks for the lives of those we have known and loved. To stand and be still for a moment in the busyness of life and remind ourselves of the God who loves us with an unfailing love.

There will be an official opening of the Garden of Remembrance in February to which all of you will be invited.

Every blessing for the New Year.

Rev'd Julie