The sun shone, the pigeons cooed and over a hundred people across the generations and churches welcomed the long and eagerly awaited stunning new time line which is now in place outside in the peace and reconciliation garden beside Crookham United Reformed Church. This time line with the “Wow” factor depicts five hundred years of conflict and peace from 1513 to 2013. It has been inspirationally designed by Bill Grisdale from Anwick and was installed by him and Dougie James on Monday 8th May “just in time” for opening on Tuesday! Flodden Peace Centre at Crookham United Reformed Church is part of the Flodden 1513 ecomuseum.
Revd David Herbert, Synod Moderator spoke remembering the work of Diana, his dynamic wife, and Revd Stanley Baxter from Holyrood House, Thirsk. Sadly those were two of the people of vision and driving power who had died after sowing seeds of peace and reconciliation at Crookham. Their legacy lives on “in the garden that grows people”.
Revd Dr June Boyce-Tillman, hymn writer from Winchester University has also become connected with Crookham thanks to connections with the Baxters at Holy Rood House.She cut the rainbow ribbon and led nearly 80 participants from schools in the communities of Selkirk, Ford, Wooler and Scremerston singing and dancing around the different areas of the garden. She asked the children to remember people from the timeline such as Elizabeth Fry and Nelson Mandela. In the peace area the children walked around the fish pond in twos and several of them had the joy of playing the Tibetan singing bowl beside the gate.
Kind-hearted Crookham residents took part in the day and opened the village hall and their homes to provide facilities if needed.
The time-line finishes with the question, “What can you do for peace?”
The peace and reconciliation garden owes much to Northern Synod. If you are looking for somewhere to visit this summer for a family outing or even to consider bring a church group in the future please consider coming to the maturing Crookham United Reformed Church garden of peace and reconciliation – open 24/7.
Mrs Mary Black, church elder watching June Boyce-Tillman and the children perform “Celtic Twilight”, the story of St. Hild of Whitby, commented with amazement her delight at seeing so many children in the church. The garden indeed “grows people”, with miles of thanks to Northern Synod.
Mary E Taylor