The Quiet Garden Movement is an important movement within the Church today. It nurtures access to outdoor space for prayer and reflection in a variety of settings, such as private homes, churches, retreat centres, schools and hospitals – and creates opportunities for people to experience silence, restfulness and contemplation, with regular quiet days and retreats being offered in many Quiet Gardens. There are over 300 Quiet Gardens worldwide. The Movement flows from the example of Jesus’s withdrawal to natural places to pray and his invitation to, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest’ (Mark 6.31). The first Quiet Garden opened at Stoke Poges in Buckinghamshire, England in September 1992, the result of the vision of Philip Roderick, the local Anglican Priest at the time and of other Christians in the area.
Those involved in the Quiet Garden Movement come from a variety of traditions, churches and cultures, and as such we express our heritage in many diverse ways and welcome the diversity of fellow travelers on the journey. All are welcome to Quiet Gardens, to rest in the presence of God, whatever spiritual path they follow. The core values of Quiet Gardens are:
- Hospitality – Quiet Gardens are places of hospitality, which is offered to all who wish to visit from any faith background or none.
- Contemplative prayer – Quiet Gardens are rooted in the Christian contemplative tradition as expressed in the Scriptures and the wisdom of the desert tradition, as well as the Christian mystical tradition and Celtic spirituality. Quiet Gardens provide a context for learning about these sources and resources, and enjoying silence, attentiveness and contemplative prayer.
- Nature (re)connection – Time in a Quiet Garden can be helpful for our health and wellbeing, as well as our spiritual journey. Our care for the environment creates balance for daily life and inspiration for compassionate activism. Time in a Quiet Garden enhances our relationship with the earth and encourages care for creation.
More information about the Quiet Garden Movement at www.quietgarden.org