Logo

 

Banner Image:   missional-adventure-banner
Template Mode:   About Us
Icon
    Post     Tweet

Story 94 - Wendreth Garden
Cambridgeshire

By Suzie Abramian in conversation with Revd Simon Goddard  22/03/2021
 
Story94 - Pic1Alongside his work enabling and advising others in mission, Revd. Simon Goddard also has his own calling to pioneer new Christian communities. In September 2020, Simon and his wife Lisa moved to the Cambridgeshire market town of March with the hope of settling into a new home and the desire to discern new ways to put these callings into practice, particularly connecting with their passion for environmentalism.
At the end of their new garden is a piece of disused land which Simon says they were vaguely aware of when they purchased the property, but which took on more significance once they moved in. Not long after they moved, they met the landowner who was in fact a previous owner of the Goddard’s new home and was keen to sell the parcel of land she had still retained. This has consequently led them to explore the potential of creating a community garden.
The land itself has some mature trees, including a pretty willow but due to its neglect, it mainly consists of brambles and junk. It required Simon, with his ‘imagination glasses on’ to see the potential of something very different! Envisaging and dreaming about what could be, Simon says he can see a variety of scenes; groups of friends gardening and taking home their produce, places for people to sit amidst the peaceful surroundings of nature, and a gathering of people around a firepit, discussing life and Jesus before the comfort and warmth of the fire.

Story94 - Pic2As the practicalities of pursuing this unfolded it became clear that because of the access to the land - only through Simon and Lisa’s garden, or down a neighbour’s drive – it would be difficult to set up as an official community project which would require public access. Therefore, Simon saw how they would need to purchase the land privately, and instead nurture a group of friends who they would invite on a personal basis to share the space with them.
Amazingly, within the last couple of months they have received half of the money in donations, and the other half in loans which Simons feels is a real sign of God’s blessing to purchase the land, and a means of having a group of people who are prayerfully and practically supporting them in this. The landowner also had a willingness to keep the price of the land lower by agreeing to a covenant that makes profiting from any future residential development of the land very difficult, something desirable for a place intended to be kept as a green space for the benefit of people and planet. Furthermore, they’re already making friends and identifying several local people on a spiritual journey who they can see this project connecting with.
The name, ‘Wendreth Garden’ was equally intentional and reflects some of the ethos behind this vision. For those of us who are a little rusty on our Anglo-Saxon history, St. Wendreth, also known as Wendreda, was an Anglo-Saxon nun, healer, and saint, thought to be of the 7th century. She was also daughter of King Anna of East Anglia, a Christian king.

Instead of marrying kings (like three of her sisters) Wendreth became a nun and herbalist, expert in the arts of healing sick people and animals. She established herself in the wetlands of the Fens and is reported to have founded a Benedictine convent in March, where she spent the rest of her life. She is the patron saint of March town and so, inspired by this local saint, Wendreth seemed to be the perfect name to give to a place that Simon and Lisa hope will become a place of healing and wholeness for people, and an attractive habitat for insects and wildlife alike.
Trusting in the Lord as he leads them further in this adventure, the Goddard's are excited to see what else God has in store for them in this as a family and for their wider community.
(This video gives a brief snapshot of the current state of Wendreth Garden).




 
 
 
 
    Post     Tweet
Simon Goddard
Story91-100, MA_Podcast
Suzie Abramian
EMBA, Story91-100, MA_Social Action
Michael Shaw
SWBA, Story91-100, MA_Social Action, MA_Evangelism
Timothy Haines
CBA, Story91-100, MA_Church Planting, MA_Evangelism, MA_Social Action
Ruth Ward
SWBA, Story91-100, MA_Pioneering
Ben Lucas
Story91-100, SCBA, MA_Podcast
 missional adventure 
Posted: 01/04/2021
Posted: 01/04/2021
Posted: 01/04/2021
Posted: 01/04/2021
Posted: 01/04/2021
Posted: 01/04/2021
Posted: 01/03/2021
Posted: 01/03/2021
Posted: 01/03/2021
Posted: 02/02/2021
Posted: 02/02/2021
Posted: 01/02/2021
Posted: 01/01/2021
Posted: 01/01/2021
Posted: 01/01/2021
Posted: 24/12/2020
Posted: 01/12/2020
Posted: 01/12/2020
Posted: 01/12/2020
Posted: 01/12/2020