Bishop Stack opens Prayer Garden at St John Fisher School

Blue skies and melodious childrens’ voices greeted Bishop Stack and the Ss Alban & Stephen parish priests as they celebrated the opening of the new Prayer Garden at St John Fisher Catholic Primary school.The mass coincided with their saint’s feast day on June 22nd. Pupils, teachers, parents and friends of the school were present to enjoy this special  ‘al fresco’  occasion.
The tranquil garden, with its circular stones symbolizing rosary beads, wooden seating and a 5 foot wooden cross surrounded by plants, is for the pupils to take time out to pray.
Mr McNerney, Head Teacher, said “Its going to offer a place to pause for quiet moments and space to pray, reflect and have quiet time with God.”

Bishop Stack echoed this, “In every school, there needs to be an oasis of peace, calm and (to quote poet TS Eliot) a still point of a turning world. Its important that this is at the heart of every school; visual, tangable and close to nature.”

Several pupils had enthusiastic comments to make about their prayer garden. ” I will go there to say prayers especially if I am worried about sick relatives. I will have a peaceful time with God.” said a year 4 pupil.

Bishop Stack presented four symbolic plants to the school; sage, lavender, rosemary and thyme. He spoke about their physical and spiritual effects.The pupils presented the bishop with a plaque and CD of their wonderful choir, ‘ to enjoy on his M25 journeys!’

The school choir completed the mass with their own song which includes the words ‘We are children of St John Fisher School and we are sharing God’s peace, hope and joy.’  These words portray the  essence of what St John Fisher school and its new Prayer Garden is all about.





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Maria Larmer lives in St Albans and is married with four children. She works as a Freelance Writer, English Language Teacher and Teaching Assistant. She has lived in Auckland, New Zealand for 9 years and prior to that in France, Germany, Austria, Edinburgh, London and Ireland. Her diary-writing has featured on 'The Wild Geese' Channel 4 and Radio Verulam. She has written for Hertfordshire Life magazine, Go Camping magazine, Camping magazine, The Catholic Times, St Albans & Harpenden Review, New Zealand Times, The New Beacon, My Weekly and various websites. She can be contacted on