Westfield Road, Bishop Auckland
County Durham, DL14 6AE

Church Garden Blog

A big thank you to all of our donors, friends and volunteers who make it possible for us to produce meals and help others – we couldn’t do it without you!

The Auckland Project

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Feeding Families
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Work on the vegetable beds continues with the new planting areas cut out and ready to accept planting. We now also have the new portable greenhouse set up with our first batches of seedlings ready for germination.


Spring has arrived and with it a blossom of life and activity envelops the garden. Our friends, old & new, young & not so young, are busy helping to cultivate God’s wonders for the benefit of all to enjoy. We wish each of them and all of you, a very Happy and Blessed Easter.


Our friends are now starting the next phase of developing the garden in readiness for planting out new vegetables. Many hands (and paws) helps make light work.


Our new “Bug Hotel” is now in place and ready to welcome its new guests for the spring and summer season. This should provide a great boost to the garden and attract pollinators and a wide variety of useful insect life.


A big thank you to Sandra and Veronica at Culture Healing Communities for providing, tools and seeds for the garden (thank you to our able our gardeners for displaying the donations). The tools have already been put to use tending the raised beds and surrounding areas. A new “bug hotel” is currently being installed on the far wall to encourage insects to stay in the garden.


Along with the better weather comes new visitors and the simple joy of springtime being enjoyed with all the gusto it deserves!


As the snows have passed and the first signs of new life appear in the garden, we can the cross becoming filled with Snowdrops – life truly is a wonder!


This week has seen adverse conditions but also an opportunity for fun in the garden. Our helpers have tended, tidied and even created a snowman.


The seating has now been fully assembled and the planters are now being filled in readiness  to plant our first crops.


Sunday 17th January 2021

The new seating area has now taken shape with the installation of the second bench.

The lawn cross is still peeking upward from beneath the snow and reminds us that God’s influence is always there even if we can’t always see it clearly.

A reminder that even the smallest of things can remain steadfast and upright in the most adverse of conditions.


As we approach Christmas we can see our dedicated friends have dressed the notice board and handcrafted our very own large-scale nativity scene for all to enjoy.

Thank you to everyone who has helped and contributed to making the Community Hub a success – your hard work has enabled us to help so many people this year – God Bless You All.


Yet another delivery from the generous folk at the The Auckland Project helps us to produce more meals for those in need in the local and wider community of Bishop Auckland.


As work continues on readying the gardens for the winter months, we are delighted to welcome friends both old and new as they pop in.

I you would like to take part or just have a chat (respecting safe distancing of course) then feel free to cone along on Wednesday mornings.


The next stage of garden development has started with the building of handcrafted seating to match the planters.

The garden continues to thrive with various wildlife visiting and we can see jackdaws using the feeders at the side of the garden.



A big thank you to our new partner Feeding Families who have donated goods to distribute to those in need of additional help.


As you can see our dedicated friends have been busy decorating the newly assembled and installed planters in readiness ahead of the planting season.


As we remember those who gave their lives, we see the garden with its breadth of life and give thanks.


Our dedicated friends have been busy with tending the garden and distributing any bounties with which we have been blessed.

We continue to feed the local community and will do so throughout the lockdown period that has been announced.


As the year moves on and Autumn arrives we have undertaken maintenance to the church too. The new signage at the front and side entrances has been fitted and the new garden door installed.


The second raised planter has been completed and the garden is now starting to take the shape required to fulfil its new purpose. 


As you can see our second raised bed is now well under construction and the garden is starting to show the deeper shades of Autumn.


The latest garden photographs taken show the beauty still present even at this time of year.


In the sixth of Christine’s series of photographs we can appreciate how generous nature has been and the wonders God quietly performs daily.


The first of the raised planters is now in place and you can see our friends have done an excellent job of the construction.


The work on the raised planter construction by our skilled friends is moving forward with the site located and the bedding point cut in readiness for the installation.


As you can see work on the more contemplative parts of our garden project are well underway and the basis of a little oasis of peace is being formed. If you would like to get involved please drop in on Wednesday mornings at 10:00am


Work on the disability-friendly raised planters for the sensory garden started this week. Our dedicated friends have been hard at work crafting them all from scratch.


The fifth of our photographs shows that even perceived little imperfections are a part of the beauty of God’s creations.


The fourth in our series of Christine’s photographs illustrates that even in beauty we should look a little deeper at what we see.


The third in our series of Christine’s photographs shows the beauty and resilience of even the most delicate of blooms.


The second in our series of Christine’s photographs shows the cross in full bloom with wild flowers. Truly a reminder of God’s wonder and the hard work of our dedicated Gardeners


This week we bring you the first of a set of stunning photographs taken by one of the friends of the church. A big thank you to Christine for donating her considerable skills and time to produce the superb quality images.


As the summer rolls on the inevitable rain falls, we can see that the plants have benefitted enormously from nature’s gifts.  The garden is now in full flourish and even the central cross is now adorned with flowers to please the eye and gladden the heart.  God’s gifts truly are a wonder.


A Father was out walking with his little girl and stopped to chat when they saw us tending the garden and harvesting the first of our produce.

They noted the new bench that we were installing and we told them that it had been generously loaned to us as we start to transform the garden into an oasis of calm to welcome all who wished to use it.

As we related the work we were doing and our involvement in the local community initiatives, the little girl said her mummy was having a baby, so we invited them both in to pick some flowers for her expectant Mother.

Father and Daughter both left with happy smiles and the warmth that comes from a simple kindness.


The work on the garden continues apace and the various plants are showing good form. As you can see the regular maintenance has paid off in spades! (well it is a gardening blog and we cultivate smiles too!)


I’ve attached a few pictures of the church garden, particularly for the benefit of those who may not get to see it so often (John and Tony, I guess).

As you can see the white ox-eye daisies and “snow-in summer” are putting on a good show at the moment, are possibly getting a little out of hand – and there’s been a lovely red peony in flower!

Everything else is looking fine, despite the lack of rain and David’s perfectly-mown lawn provides the finishing touch. The cross in the middle of it is slowly starting to fill out with various wild flowers… and we should even have a strawberry harvest before too long!


I hope you’re all keeping well in body, mind and spirit. I’ve been blessed to be able to get out gardening a fair bit, and enjoy popping in at the church from time to time.

The garden there is waking up and looking good; the birds are still emptying the feeders and I’ve seen plenty of bees and butterflies about already. All our new fruit trees are coming into leaf, and Julie’s cherry tree is flowering.

I managed to get the lawnmower working eventually – I think it was the power of prayer! – and hope to keep mowing from time to time.

I took an executive decision and left the little rectangle of grass on the left of the main entrance to grow as a mini meadow for wildlife. I hope that’s OK with you all.

It hasn’t rained for some time and the water butt is empty, so I’ll be watering from the tap for a while, which is presumably helpful in terms of clearing the pipes, too.

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