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Garden of Remembrance at St Philip’s, Milltown, offers space to reflect on loved ones

Peter Nichels, Vincent Hatton, Joanna O’Reilly, Canon Sonia Gyles, Archbishop Michael Jackson, Stephen Odlum and Ian Kelly at St Philip’s Church’s new Garden of Remembrance.
Peter Nichels, Vincent Hatton, Joanna O’Reilly, Canon Sonia Gyles, Archbishop Michael Jackson, Stephen Odlum and Ian Kelly at St Philip’s Church’s new Garden of Remembrance.

A beautiful Garden of Remembrance was unveiled at St Philip’s Church, Milltown, on Remembrance Sunday (November 12). Archbishop Michael Jackson dedicated the new Garden of Remembrance, which is in a peaceful location at the rear of the church, following the Service of Remembrance.

The project, which has come to fruition during the church’s 150th anniversary, has been in the pipeline for some years and the Rector, Canon Sonia Gyles, thanked all who had helped progress the plan. She paid particular tribute to Joanna O’Reilly and Stephen Odlum who she described as the driving force and also thanked the architect Peter Nichels, the builder Vincent Hatton and the landscaper Ian Kelly.

Remembrance was the theme of the Archbishop’s sermon and he paid tribute to the people whose dedication and commitment to memory itself kept the memory of service in war and peace alive. “As new generations come through, as adults and children inevitably find themselves at a further and further remove from what they find and read in history textbooks, the people who remind them and us that these things in fact happened and that these people from your community and mine served and died are to be lauded for their commitment to memory and to remembrance as history moves forward and onward and sweeps us with it,” he said.

Archbishop Jackson said that remembrance brought together sadness and gratitude – sadness because of the lives cut short and gratitude because of the selflessness shown by those who gave their lives. He said keeping the memory alive was life–giving because it shaped a community of freedom that everyone hopes would be the outcome of conflict.

The Archbishop said he had watched the Garden of Remembrance grow at St Philp’s Church. He said the work that had gone into it had been careful and tasteful. “It is painstaking and will enable us in a changed and different world to remember with thanksgiving those whom we love who are now no longer with us. In a tight space and in a parish complex where lots of things happen in the parish community and in the wider community every day, there will be time for reflection in the context of lots going on around us. And that is no bad thing because the people we remember were undoubtedly part of the action and that is how we like to remember them,” he added.

 

Archbishop Michael Jackson and Canon Sonia Gyles during the dedication of the Garden of Remembrance at St Philip's Church.
Archbishop Michael Jackson and Canon Sonia Gyles during the dedication of the Garden of Remembrance at St Philip's Church.