Dale Street Methodist Church

Leamington Spa

Community Garden - the story so far


Week 7

Genesis 1:11

11 Then God said, “Let the land sprout with vegetation—every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.” And that is what happened.

This week’s progress:

Week 7

What a week, what a transformation! The vegetable garden is complete with 5 new beds and one established, one edged with new railway sleepers (not an easy job to cut with a handsaw!).

The paths around the beds have been lined with weed suppressant fabric and topped with a thick layer of playsafe bark chippings.
Part of the wildflower meadow has been scarified and an initial sprinkling of wildflower 
seed distributed. Two magnificent compost bins have been constructed from pallets.
As one passer by 
commented- ‘you could keep a flock of sheep in there!’
Rather appropriate don’t you think?

MKM Building Supplies have given a whopping 15% discount and then, as if this wasn’t enough, they have thrown in the sleepers instead of more humble decking boards for the same price. Savi’s, Mr Potato and Dodos Pizzas have fed us all at a discount.
We are very much in all of their debt.

So, what of the week to come?

Well, next week will see us taking a well-earned rest, but on Saturday 29th May we shall hold our first Good News Garden gardening session between 9.30 and 11.00am. To mark the occasion and get the Spring Bank Holiday off to a great start we shall also be stocking our ‘Free Gift For You’ stand with any seedlings and baby plants which you can bring along. (Any green beans, beetroots, carrots or parsnips might be snaffled for our veg beds!)

EVERYONE is welcome. Don’t worry if Saturday 9.30-11.00am is not a good time for you, there will be another session on Monday between 10.00 and 12.00am and again on Thursday between 2.00 and 4.00pm.

Come along, check it out, and think whether you might be willing to put your name on a rota to lean on a rake and direct the action one session. No gardening experience is necessary! 

Our Steering Team have all the expertise needed and will be producing a list of jobs which need to be done each week.

Finally, please keep those pledges coming! We are so nearly there, but we still need to raise more funds for the seats, raised bed for wheel chair users and paving. A durable, sturdy hardwood armchair costs £205, block pavers come in at around £20 per square metre.

Email your pledge – details of where to send the money will follow soon. Even a fiver towards one of these items would make a difference!

As ever, the biggest thing you can do to help is to pray.

Please Pray for the Prince’s Trust team as they continue with their course and for their lives beyond. Pray for sun and rain to nourish our new plants. Pray for lots of gardeners to bless and be blessed by our garden. Pray for continued donations and a generous grant from the Circuit for phase 2.
Pray that God 
will continue to inspire and guide us in carrying his Good News out of his church and into his garden.

Amen


Week 6             

 Genesis 2:15

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.

 

This week’s progress:

Bright and early on Monday morning 11 students and their team leader from the Prince’s Trust arrived at Dale St with an assortment of garden tools ready to hit the ground running.  At the end of the first week they have managed to clear the area of wild garlic near the Dale Street traffic lights where the compost bins are going to be built.  This plant is apparently not a native to these Isles and invasive so we decided not to pot it up and put it on our ‘Free gift for you’ display stand!  The three clumps of pampas grass have been removed along with a couple of bumble bee nests thanks to the combined efforts of the Prince’s Trust, Russell Blackwell (an ex-beekeeper) with a selection of electric hedge cutters, Graham Howe with an axe, and a neighbour from 26 Portland Place West with a very robust garden fork.  The debris is too much to fit in the skip so a flotilla of Dale Street cars are being organised to take it to the tip in their boots.  The turf has also been stripped in the area which will become the vegetable garden ready for veg beds to be installed with bark chippings around to create pathways.

 

So, what of the week to come?

We are hopeful that a local builders merchant, MKM based on the Tachbrook Park industrial estate, will be delivering all the materials we need early in the week at a discount price.  The veg beds, planters and compost bins will then be constructed, the paths formed, and the remaining lawn area scarified and seeded with wildflowers.  Plants are being offered from some of the Prince’s Tust for an extra flower/herb bed which is being formed near the car park entrance off Portland Place West, and we hope to leave everything ship shape and ready for willing gardeners.

 

SO… how will our new garden work?  We have interest from Mutual Aid, a volunteer group who have been running errands for folk during lockdown but who also make regular phone calls to people who have been very isolated to use the garden space.  They hope that their beneficiaries can meet the volunteers who have been phoning them in a safe place for their first tentative steps outside their homes.  To facilitate this, and gardening by other individuals from the community, we are looking for a small steering group to oversee the garden, advise on planting, set out a list of jobs to be done each week etc.  Then we will need volunteers to be on site for a couple of hours from time to time to ensure that there is a Dale Street presence whenever gardening is taking place.  The slots we are looking for are Monday morning 10-12.00am, Thursday afternoon 2-4.00pm and Saturday morning 9.30-11.00am.  If you are happy to chat and lean on a rake, or even join in with a little gentle gardening please email me on the fundraising website.  The more people who can get involved the less of a commitment this will be so please think if you might be able to come down to the garden, even if only once a month.  

 

Please keep those pledges coming!  We still need to raise more funds for the seats, raised bed and paving.  A durable, sturdy hardwood armchair costs £205, block pavers come in at around £20 per square metre.  

Email your pledge  – details of where to send the money will follow soon.  Even a fiver towards one of these items would make a difference!

 

As ever, the biggest thing you can do to help is to pray. 

 

Please Pray for the Prince’s Trust team.  Pray for a great discount on the materials.  Pray for continued donations and a generous grant from the Circuit for phase 2.  Pray that God will continue to inspire and guide us in carrying his Good News out of his church and into his garden. 

Amen


Week 5

 Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

 

This week’s progress:

The final preparation is done.  The skip has been ordered, the tools and equipment gathered, the miles around Victoria Park have been walked.  Cakes have been baked, raffled, won and consumed! The food has been organised, the Covid rules negotiated and agreed.  We are still waiting for some final costings, still praying for a few discounts, donations and offers of help.  But we are as ready as we can be to step out in faith into the garden. We are delighted to report that the costs for this first phase have now been covered by a mixture of your generous donations and a grant of 50% from the Circuit, however, we are still short on the total needed to complete the project with phase 2 planned for early August.  This is when the paved area will be created, and the seating installed along with the raised bed for wheelchair users.

 So, what of the week to come?

The team will arrive on site at Dale Street at 9.30 on Monday morning for their first day’s work.  Hopefully the skip will arrive early that morning and the work of clearing away old plants and removing the turf from the areas to be given over to paths and veg beds can begin. New compost bins can be constructed from old pallets and installed ready for use.  Plants which can be salvaged will be potted up and placed on our display stand for anyone to take and plant in their own gardens.

 What can you do to help? Well, sadly please don’t bring home-baked cakes or cookies to site for the workers. This is against the current Covid rules.  Please do pop along and say hello, give encouragement and express our gratitude to the young people who will be working very hard on our behalf.  But while you are there, please don’t take any photos without asking permission of any of the team who might be caught in them. Some do not want to be photographed and we most certainly need to respect their wishes.  (The picture below was taken with their express permission.)

 

Please keep those pledges coming!  We still need to raise the funds for the seats, raised beds and paving.  A durable, sturdy hardwood armchair costs £205, block pavers come in at around £20 per square metre.  Email your pledge  – details of where to send the money will follow soon.  Even a fiver towards one of these items would make a difference!

As ever, the biggest thing you can do to help is to pray. 

Princes Trust

Please Pray for the Prince’s Trust team.  Pray for the prompt delivery of the skip.  Pray for continued donations and a generous grant from the Circuit for phase 2.  Pray that God will continue to inspire and guide us in carrying his Good News out of his church and into his garden.  Amen.


Week 4

Genesis 2:15: The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it.

This week’s progress:

Well, this week has been all about money.  We are awaiting a reply from the Circuit, but we are hopeful that they will match whatever we can raise!  Our fund of pledges so far has reached £1310, which means we still have a rather long way to go – our target is £4000 – if we are to be able to buy the really big-ticket item of getting a properly laid and levelled block paving area below our seating and leading to a level threshold with the drive by the porch.

We have resolved our catering issues and made a decision to go it alone and buy the food from local suppliers who will deliver along with lots of drinks etc from Cost Co.  Our wonderful catering team are on the case to get the costs as low as possible, but teenagers doing hard physical work are going to take a fair bit of feeding!  If only we were allowed to contribute home cooked food!  Sadly, it is out of the question.

So, what of the week to come?

We shall continue to wait to hear from the circuit and in the meantime continue to pray for pledges and donations.  Please keep those pledges coming!  Perhaps a contribution towards a tree (£50) or an edged veg. bed complete with good quality soil (£55)?  Perhaps you fancy sitting on a seat and remembering a loved one? A durable, sturdy hardwood armchair costs £205.  Or sitting watching the butterflies and bees over the wildflower meadow?  1Kg of specially selected wildflower seed suitable for our soil type costs £114.  
Email your pledge – details of where to send the money will follow soon.  Even a fiver towards one of these items would make a difference!

The Prince’s Trust are doing their bit.  They have decided a good way to raise funds while staying distanced is to do a sponsored walk.  After doing some research they believe that Dale St Methodist Church was first built in 1869, which was 152 years ago.  They plan to walk 152 laps of Victoria Park between them which works out at 76 Miles.  This is going to be quite a challenge for them given various physical abilities, but they feel it is a significant number and links their fundraising to the church really well.  (Anyone who would like to sponsor them should contact me on the email address above and I’ll arrange for the details to be sent to you.)

Garden design











A list of materials and equipment that they will need has been drawn up in collaboration with us at Dale Street and the team are now going to be contacting local businesses to see if they can get discounts or donations.                                                                                                                                                                                            

As ever, the biggest thing you can do to help is to pray.

Please pray for the Prince’s Trust team. Pray for continued donations and a generous grant from the Circuit. Pray that God will continue to inspire and guide us in carrying out his Good News out of his church and into his garden.

Amen.


Week 3


Oh loving and living God, may we trust in you as Jeremiah reminds us, like a tree, planted by water,

that depends on you alone to face the challenges of the climate and still produces fruit. Let your

nourishment seep into our world today through our hands, minds and voices, that we may seek to

bring your reconciling love in Christ to the earth in transformative ways. Amen.

(Stephen Lindridge, inspired by Jeremiah 17:7-8)

This week’s progress:

All the quotes for materials and work are now in which has enabled us to send a letter to Circuit

requesting a financial contribution. It sets out our aims in terms of Eco Church and Mission:

‘We will be able to boost our Eco Church score in the Land Category to Gold award level! We also

hope to use the new garden as a focus for the Worship and Teaching, Lifestyle and Community and

Global Engagement categories which makes the project pivotal to our Eco Church strategy.

We see our route to mission among the local community as getting out of the church and interacting

directly with those who live and work around us. The project has already made connections with

local businesses, Mid-Warwickshire College, neighbours and passers- by via direct approach, fliers,

and our free plant initiative. We hope to attract interest and spark conversation with our neighbours

as we make ourselves available by simply being there in the garden.’

Our catering problems are on their way to being resolved, we are still ironing out a few last details.

Interest and encouragement has been expressed by some neighbours following our leaflet drop. We

have received pledges of donations to the sum of £710 from you, the congregation.

The Princes Trust team are working together and getting to know each other’s strengths and talents.

Lists of gardening equipment that they will need are being drawn up- watch this space, we may be

asking for people to lend some items in next weeks report.


So what of the week to come?


We shall wait with bated breath to hear from the circuit- their meeting is next Wednesday so we

hope to be able to report back in our next letter.

We have received £710 of pledges so far, but we are still hoping for more, so please keep them

coming! Perhaps a contribution towards a tree (£50) or an edged veg bed complete with good

quality soil (£55)? Perhaps you fancy sitting on a seat and remembering a loved one? A durable,

sturdy hardwood arm chair costs £205. Or sitting watching the butterflies and bees over the

wildflower meadow? 1Kg of specially selected wildflower seed suitable for our soil type costs £114.

Email your pledge – details of where to send the money will follow soon. Even a fiver towards one of these items would make a difference!

We hope that the Princes Trust team will be able to visit the site soon to get a better feel for the

project and meet us in person.


As ever, the biggest thing you can do to help is to pray.


Please Pray for the Prince’s Trust team. Pray for continued donations and a generous grant from

the Circuit. Pray for a way through Covid Regulations to allow us to give the Prince’s Trust team

lunch. Pray that God will continue to inspire and guide us in carrying his Good News out of his

church and into his garden. Amen


Week 2


God of Love, greater than we can imagine, thank you for living in us and loving through us.

May all that we do flow from our indwelling Spirit and our deep connection with you and all

creation. Help us become a community that honours life in all its forms and all its fullness.

For the sake of the Kingdom we pray. Amen

Sheryl Anderson, Liverpool District Chair (abridged)

Good News! The second week of our Mission in the garden at Dale Street has been busy. The fliers

have been successfully delivered to all local houses and flats and a few expressions of interest have

already been received. A highly recommended contractor giving us a price for the paved area to

allow wheelchair access to our seating and raised planting bed. (This is the last price we need to be

able to get a target for fund raising.) 


The Prince’s Trust team have started their course up at mid-Warwickshire College and are getting excited about the project. Risk assessments have been carried out and we are fighting our way through the red tape around Covid to enable us to feed the hungry workers, extending the outrageous hospitality which we hope we are known for. Work behind the scenes is going on apace to minimise the cost of the garden without reducing it’s impact or

durability. Submissions to the circuit are being honed to give us the best possible chance of a major

contribution to the cost from that quarter.


So what of the week to come?


One of the criteria that the circuit will use when deciding how much money they will contribute is

how much we have contributed ourselves. So, with this in mind I’m going to ask everyone to give

some thought about maybe pledging some money towards the mission. Perhaps a contribution

towards a tree (£50) or an edged veg bed complete with good quality soil (£55)? Perhaps you fancy

sitting on a seat and remembering a loved one? A durable, sturdy hardwood arm chair costs £205.

Or sitting watching the butterflies and bees over the wildflower meadow? 1Kg of specially selected

wildflower seed suitable for our soil type costs £114. As you can see, a brand new garden doesn’t

come cheap, but a small contribution from each of us can quickly add up, and the more we raise the

more the circuit will contribute.

Email your pledge – details of where to send the money will follow soon.


The Prince’s Trust team will continue to learn about our project and think about how important

gardens are to the local eco systems. They’ll be finalising plans for fund raising, and I hope that

some of us will choose to contribute by supporting these.


Generally, throughout the week we will be anxiously waiting for replies to yet more emails and for

resolution to our Covid safe catering issues.


So, as ever, the biggest thing you can do to help is to pray.


Please Pray for the Prince’s Trust team. Pray for the advice and donations that we need to get this

project off the ground. Pray for a way through Covid Regulations to allow us to give the Prince’s

Trust team lunch. Pray that God will continue to inspire and guide us in carrying his Good News out

of his church and into his garden. Amen


Week 1


Eternal God, as you have taught us to keep all your commandments by loving you and our neighbour, grant us the gift of your Spirit that we may be devoted to you with all our heart and united to you with a pure will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Ambrossian Missal (10th century)


Good News! The first week of our Mission in the garden at Dale Street has been wonderful. Our plant stand, set up outside the porch on Saturday morning, was laden to overflowing with plants lovingly grown and potted up by many people. But what if passers by didn’t quite get it, didn’t understand that these little pots of spring hope were indeed a free gift for THEM?


Dale Street folk, driving or walking past the church, excitedly reported that lots of people were looking at the plants. A group of young Spanish students engaged in conversation asking ‘what exactly was this Methodist Church’? By Tuesday morning, all but one plant had been taken (the last After Eight in the box, or just a particularly scratty little tulip which had fallen out of it’s pot and been put back upside down?). Boom, God’s love received and shared with our neighbours. Good News indeed.


So what of the week to come?


On Monday this week the Prince’s Trust team who will be doing so much of the hard work for us will start their six week course.


On Tuesday afternoon some of us will be putting fliers through letter boxes letting our immediate neighbours know about the new garden. Our open letter will invite anyone interested in finding out more about the project or who would like to get involved in some way to contact Jill Lloyd at dsmc.garden1@gmail.com or check out our new webpage at https://www.dalestreet-methodist.org.uk/garden.htm That invitation is extended to each and every one of you too. If any one can spare an hour and would like to help out posting those letters through letter boxes please meet us by the porch at 2.30pm. Many hands make light work!


Generally throughout the week we will be anxiously waiting for replies to a raft of emails to council officers and local businesses asking for advice or donations. Working out the details of exactly what we will need to realise the plans and how much we can afford to take on this May.


So there is one way that we can ALL get involved, one invaluable thing that we can do to join this exciting new Dale Street mission- and that is to pray.


Pray for the leaders of the Prince’s Trust team as well as the young people starting their course. Pray for the leaflet drop, that it will reach the people who need to feel God’s love and move them to join us. Pray for the advice and donations that we need to get this project off the ground. Pray that God will continue to inspire and guide us in carrying his Good News out of his church and into his garden. Amen