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New wildlife garden unveiled at Christ Church Garden

A new wildlife garden at Christ Church in Blackfriars Road has been officially opened.

New wildlife garden unveiled at Christ Church Garden
The new wildlife garden is already making a colourful contribution to the neighbourhood
New wildlife garden unveiled at Christ Church Garden
This new sign at the entrance to Christ Church Garden explains the area's history
Helen Firminger, Terry Drummond & Adele Morris
L-R: Helen Firminger of BOST, Capt Terry Drummond & Cllr Adele Morris
Heather Carter
The wildlife garden project has been led by BOST's Heather Carter

"This garden seems to me to represent a real example of partnership," said Terry Drummond, lay chaplain to the Bishop of Southwark, speaking at an opening ceremony hosted by the Bankside Open Spaces Trust in Christ Church Garden.

"It is important when we are debating the environment to be able to celebrate a local example of people coming together in a very busy urban area. The contribution of this garden is where change really happens."

He recalled visiting Christ Church in the early 1990s when the rector was Peter Challen who used to say 'think globally, act locally'.

"The environment is crucial element of our work," said Terry Drummond. "We constantly seek to be engaged with the question about what makes communities flourish.

"The local church here with the diocese is actively concious to show that plans for regeneration are flouishing and are not just about buildings but are about people who are going to live and work and make sustainable lively communities.

"The fact that people from across the community can work together is a sign for me of what good we can do together in making sure we can serve that wider community particularly in environmental schemes which can bring a freshness and a sense of life in a community such as this in Blackfriars."

Helen Firminger, director of BOST which has been invoved with the site for a decade, welcomed guests from organisations which had contributed to the garden including Better Bankside, The Big Lottery Fund and the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association. Land Securities' representative Wendy Franks was thanked for providing staff and contractors and Southwark Council for lopping trees and fixing bird and bat boxes.

Adele Morris, Cathedrals Ward councillor who cut the celebration cake, said that BOST was very special because it brought so many people from different walks of life.

"Getting involved is volunteering is really rewarding," said Cllr Morris. "I started out as a volunteer with BOST and now I am the executive member for communities in Southwark."

She added that it took a huge amount of energy not just to create a garden but also to maintain it.

A new interpretation board highlights the church's history and past parishioners including Mary Wollstonecraft whose 250th anniversary is being marked this year.

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