PRAYER GARDEN AT GOOD SHEPHERD CHURCH
The Church of the Good Shepherd, Murrayfield, has opened its grounds to allow visitors to ‘pray their way around the garden’. By coincidence I happened on the church on Sunday, and took a look around.
The building itself is modest but dignified, nestled between rows of typical Edinburgh townhouses, and its well-kept garden offers sanctuary from the bustle of Corstorphine Road. The idea is ingenious – since the church building is closed the churchyard has been turned into a space for reflection, with short prayers, poems or meditations posted around the garden on weather-proof boards. Despite the somewhat grey sky the garden looked resplendent in the sunlight! The porch of the church, with its door remaining open to the elements, is also available for prayer if desired.
The visit very much reminded me of that phrase we seem to hear a lot currently – “it’s the little things that count”. Although a far cry from the social, active experience of ‘Church’ we might be used to, my time in the prayer garden at Murrayfield felt like a moment of closeness with God.
A prayer of Guerric of Igny, a 12th century Cistercian, as seen in the garden at Murrayfield:
Oh Lord Jesus, true gardener, work in us what you want of us, For you are indeed the true gardener at once, maker and tiller and keeper of your garden you who plant with the word, water with the spirit
and give your increase with your power.
David Lewis (Communications Diocese of Edinburgh)