A new and innovative village amenity was opened in Easton on the Hill on Sunday 29thJuly; a Labyrinth and Peace Garden in the newly extended churchyard of All Saints church.
The result of 4 years of planning and fundraising and 11 weeks of construction, this installation is intended to be a place of contemplation and reflection for everyone in the area, and will hopefully become a destination for villagers and visitors alike.
“The Labyrinth and Peace Garden came about because the churchyard needed extending and after all the effort and expense of achieving that, we felt that the space could be better enclosed and could also provide a useful amenity for the village. We know from our village survey that some older villagers, and the bereaved in particular, can feel a sense of isolation and loneliness, and we hope that by providing a peaceful, attractive seating area in the churchyard as well as a labyrinth for contemplation, we will make the churchyard more welcoming, and Easton on the Hill an even better place to live” said Friends of the Church Chairman Robert Woodfield.
The extended churchyard area has now been enclosed by a superb new stone wall, constructed by local craftsman Butch Baker, and the Labyrinth and Peace Garden was constructed by Collyweston based firm Messenger BCR Ltd and designed by Ken Rawson, a garden designer who also lives in the village.
The Peace Garden has at its centre a new sculpture by local artist Michael Moralee, kindly sponsored by the family of the late Sandra Watson, a much-missed villager. This contemporary piece is called “Honouring Life” and provides a focal point for visitors to enjoy and appreciate
Easton on the Hill is situated on the Jurassic Way, a popular long distance path, as well as being a favourite destination for a local walk, and plans are being made to include the Labyrinth and Peace Garden on walkers’ guides and maps. Large and informative interpretation boards have been placed at the entrances to the churchyard to tell visitors more about the historic Grade 1 listed church, the conservation area in the churchyard, and the Peace Garden and Labyrinth.
On Sunday, and after a short service, the Labyrinth and Peace Garden was officially opened by long serving village stalwart Harold Gregory, and dedicated by Bishop John Flack and Rev Philip Davies. 130 villagers and guests attended the opening and the following tea party, including representatives of the project funders and supporters, notably the Chair of East Northamptonshire District Council, Cllr Wendy Brackenbury. ENDC’s Communities Fund granted 50% of the total project costs of £65,000. Other funders included the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Allchurches Trust, and villagers have raised almost £20,000 via fundraising events and donations.
As part of the opening ceremony, a time capsule was placed beneath the central stone of the labyrinth, containing:
The drawings and plans for the design and construction of the Labyrinth and Peace Garden
A copy of the Stamford Mercury
Two copies of the village magazine, “News and Views”
A copy of the programme for this year’s Gala
The programme for the forthcoming commemoration events in the village marking 100 years since the World War One Armistice
A knitted Poppy, as an example of the thousands produced in the village ready for our WW1 centenary commemorations
A copy of the Village Plan, published in 2017
A memory stick containing digital files of photographs following the construction of the labyrinth
A memory stick containing a recording of a local radio show on Rutland Radio, hosted by Rob Persani
An order of service for the commemoration event
For more information see www.eastonlabyrinth.co.uk
or contact: Tim Nicol, firstname.lastname@example.org 050108,
on behalf of the Friends of All Saints Church, Easton on the Hill.