Quiet spaces to reflect, pray and reconnect at Dore Abbey

Published on: 13th March 2024

Image of garden with grass mown into a labyrinth surrounded by red brick wall and trees in the background

Inspired through our year of prayer the team at Dore Abbey have recently joined the Quiet Garden Movement.  This initiative which is open to churches, schools and those with private land or garden seeks to help individuals and groups explore a simple ministry of hospitality and prayer.


Worship and prayer have been the lifeblood of the Abbey in this part of Herefordshire for over 800 years, and they continue to provide the rhythms of life today through silence, music, poetry and song.


There are currently eight Quiet Gardens across our diocese some in private homes. Some Quiet Gardens provide quiet ‘drop in’ space while others offer a leader for the quiet day. 


Sarah Godson, Charity Coordinator and part  of the volunteer team at Dore Abbey explains:  “We are a small team and engage with those who wish to find a quiet space in nature to reflect, be still and to pray. The space and quiet days are open to all.”


Sue Young who is also part of the volunteer team added: “The quiet garden fits brilliantly with the aims of the Outdore Abbey team to extend the use of the grounds for worship, spiritual refreshment and care for the environment. We are delighted to have it.


“We have held 3 led  quiet days, have  an outdoor prayer labryinth and are in the process of creating a wild flower meadow to compliment this.”


The Quiet Garden Movement began in 1992 as a simple ministry of hospitality and prayer; low cost and locally accessible.  At first it was individuals in private homes who generously made their home and garden available for others to come and enjoy sanctuary and stillness for a half or full day. Then the idea spread to churches, hospitals, schools and other more institutional settings.


The charity now offers affiliated Quiet Gardens, which are those hosted by Christians, open to people of all faiths or none. They offer the treasures of contemplative prayer and the unsung benefit of silence in a welcoming environment.  They may be of any size but generally have capacity for a modest number of people.


For churches looking for alternative ways to expand prayer rhythms, expand income opportunities or explore new ways to engage local school children in prayer, this exciting  partnership offers potential opportunity to use our many beautiful and rural churchyards across the diocese beyond Sunday worship.

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