Our Team

Staff

Sarah Godson Administrator

Sarah Godson

Charity Coordinator & Administrator

I joined the Trust as the Administrator in 2019 after working for many years as a Programme Manager in an Adult Education setting. I became the Charity Coordinator in 2021. Married to a Pioneer Priest who works in a rural area in Hereford I love spending time each day walking our 2 dogs.

Walking in the local countryside and Welsh mountains is one of our passions and we are keen gardeners. The Quiet Garden Movement has enabled me to meet a wonderful group of hosts who in different ways offer a warm hearted and simple welcome to all.

Michelle Audouard volunteer

Michelle Audouard

Volunteer

I became a volunteer with the Quiet Garden Trust as I loved the idea of peaceful spaces based in nature and wanted to help expand the network of gardens so that more people in more areas could enjoy and benefit from them.

When not working with the Quiet Garden Trust, I like growing indoor plants from seed or cuttings, or saving poorly plants – it’s very satisfying when it works!

Trustees

Kate Lawson Chair of trustees

Kate Lawson

Chair of Trustees

I worked in Public Health for 40 years in the NHS. Following this I completed the course in Theology, Ministry and Mission at SEITE. Ordination served my curacy at All Saints in Hove. I am assistant MSN priest at St. Nicholas, Saltdean and also as a chaplain 2 days a week at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton. I am also a Spiritual Director.

My interest in The Quiet Garden Movement began when I attended a course run by Revd. Tessa Holland. This inspired me to have my own Quiet Garden which necessitated a house move from Kemptown to Saltdean to find the right garden!

I have been hosting Moray Cottage Quiet Garden since 2016, with the help and support of my dear friend and colleague Revd. Judy Greenfield (also a trustee). As Chair of trustees I hope to see this wonderful Quiet Garden ministry of welcome, spiritual companionship and pastoral support, continue and flourish and grow.

Chris Holmes Treasurer

Chris Holmes

Treasurer

I worked in the world’s investment markets for three decades but was always drawn to the Christian contemplative tradition.

I have been active in the Quiet Garden movement since 1996, most of that time as trustee and Honorary Treasurer.

I am involved with a number of ecological issues and pursuits and am a keen runner, tennis player and folk musician.

Margaret Harvey Trustee

Margaret Harvey

I came to the UK in 1975 as a qualified pharmacist and worked in hospital until I retired. As a school governor in an inner city school in London, we decided some years ago to dedicate a small unused green space into a quiet garden as most of our children live in flats and have no access to green spaces. Philip Roderick kindly dedicated and opened the garden. I joined the Quiet Garden Movement as a result. I was then asked if I would like to become a trustee, a role I very much enjoy.

Gilli Morgan Trustee

Gilly Morgan

Though drawn to the contemplative aspect of faith from a young age it was many years before I could really explore this journey as family, work, church kept any thoughts at arms’ length for many years. ‘Gilly’s Quiet Garden’ opened in 2012 and I have found my passion is to encourage and enable others to explore the contemplative journey gathering pace. I am delighted to have joined the trustees in 2021 and am excited to be part of developing the work of the Quiet Garden Movement. We have an exciting future ahead!

Jill Smith Trustee

Jill Smith

I am the host of Elaine’s Orchard, in Herefordshire and have been a Quiet Garden trustee for eight years. My husband, Stuart is a very keen bird watcher so our garden has lots of bird boxes. We garden with wildlife in mind. Travel, walking, trekking, gardening and looking after our environment are all very important to us. The poetry of Wendell Berry, Mary Oliver and John O’Donahue is a great inspiration to me, along with many other writers. I am a Licensed Lay Minister in the Church of England and it was while I was a Hospice Chaplain that I was introduced to the Quiet Garden Trust and I knew then that once I retired, I wanted to have my own Quiet Garden.

Judy Greenfiled Trustee

Revd Judy Greenfield

Even as a small child, seeing God in nature has always been something very special for me. I felt my faith in God was, even then, centred around the natural world. I was a travel consultant for twenty years, but I had always wanted to work with people. I on a Family Social Work Project in Brighton and by this time, I was exploring my vocation to ordination in the Church of England.

I worked part time as coordinator of Brighton & Hove Bereavement Support, for the Chapel Royal in Brighton as their administrator, and helping to manage the vacancy in our Parish in Hove, where I was then curate.

My love of music and photography still serve in parts of my ministry as I have, in recent years, created some reflective/meditative videos based on the natural world. Along with so many others I find links between nature, creation and faith have become even more important.

Patrick Swan Trustee

Patrick Swan

My lifetime has been in horticulture. I followed a career as a professional horticulturalist in heritage gardens and I currently work as Gardens and Parklands Consultant to the National Trust, together with my own private consultancy work.

I am a passionate advocate for the role gardens can play in people’s health, wellbeing and spirituality. Taking inspiration from Asian garden culture, and combined with modern science, I speak on the subject and recently co-ran a retreat on this at Holland House, Pershore.

I am keen to further the work of the Quiet Garden Trust, so that the role its member’s gardens can play, to make people’s lives better, can be spread to new audiences. I live on the family farm in Worcestershire where I garden 1½ acres, and am also Churchwarden of the parish church.

Patrons

Brian Draper Patron

Brian Draper

Retreat leader, speaker, and author

I love to open up inspiring space in which you can make soulful connections.

The Quiet Garden Movement has been gently cultivating and tending an organic network – a flowering! – of set-aside, sensitively curated spaces in which anyone can come, without agenda, to be still. And to be restored. And to be enlivened. And perhaps to become part of the active solution, too, at this time of climate crisis.
It’s my very great joy to be part of a uniquely welcoming, divinely spacious, and deeply earthed movement, for such a time as this.

Shane Connolly patron

Shane Connolly

Florist and author

Shane is one of Britain’s leading Floral Designers, international speaker and author of five books. He has always had an organic approach to his designs, where flowers are used primarily for their own intrinsic qualities. Designs aim to flatter those idiosyncrasies. This quirky, unpretentious style has been heralded for its elegance and originality.

He is a passionate advocate of British grown, seasonal flowers. He firmly believes in the great restorative value of getting one’s hands into soil and feels that is what the Quiet Garden offers for the soul.

The Rt Revd Graham Usher

The Rt Revd Graham Usher

Bishop of Norwich

Bishop Graham is a long term friend of Quiet Gardens, having helped start The Cloister Garden at Holy Trinity Church, Middlesborogh – and he spoke at our Annual Gathering in 2018.

He is also author of Places of Enchantment – Meeting God In Landscapes.

"The natural environment of gardens with their mixture of tending, cultivating and sanctified neglect, are places that draw me into the heart of God. They are places where I can dwell deeply, through being in the slip-stream of prayer, contemplation and renewal, and find life again in all of its abundance. Through the work of the Quiet Garden Movement, I pray that this will also be true for many other people, and I remain grateful to those who open their gardens so that others can slow down and rest in God’s abundant love in Jesus."

Philip Roderick

Revd Philip Roderick

Founder and Patron

Philip is the Founder and a Patron of The Quiet Garden Movement (1992), of Contemplative Fire (2004) and of Hidden Houses of Prayer (2010). He delights in the radical presence of God in community, in nature – on hillside and by seashore; he rejoices in chant and harmony, syncopation and stillness. He looks forward to composing more and writing more!

"We live in a world where we are swamped by methods of communication and yet we find ourselves unable to communicate. Silence is the missing and vital ingredient. Even as little as five minutes can be restorative and healing."

reverend lucy winkett patron

Rev’d Lucy Winkett

Anglican priest currently Rector of St James's Piccadilly, London

Revd Lucy Winkett is a long term friend of Quiet Gardens, regular contributor to Radio 4’s Thought for the Day, former Canon of St Paul’s, she is currently Rector of St James Piccadilly. She spoke at our Annual Gathering in 2017, which you can listen to below.

"When I walk into our quiet garden I can be distracted by the fact that it is furiously busy with things growing; but I reinterpret it, if I can, as the worship of the Creator by the created. A garden looking quiet to me is actually full of natural sound, the music of creation which is the music that I join in, every time I open my mouth to sing a hymn or to say a prayer. It’s a fundamental principle of going to church. It is a fundamental principle of liturgy that our own services are simply joining in what is already happening which is the worship of all creation of the Creator. So a quiet garden isn’t quiet, it’s full of fabulous noise."

Terry Hershey patron

Terry Hershey

Author and Speaker

"A garden can be strong medicine to nurture and shape the soul. Gardens have a way of seeping in to your soul and you find yourself enjoying the air and watching for miracles. In a hurried and distracted world we need garden sanctuaries, places that ground us. We need Quiet Gardens."

The-Rt-Revd-John-Pritchard

The Rt Revd John Pritchard

Former Bishop of Oxford

"The Quiet Garden Movement represents that increasingly vital space in our bewildered culture where our store of peace can be replenished, our creativity can be renewed, and our capacity for joy can be recharged. There is deep wisdom here, and invariably it overflows in love. Do get involved."

Richard Foster Patrons

Richard J Foster

Theologian & Writer

"In our day the great danger to the spiritual life is distraction. May The Quiet Garden Movement lead us into new and creative ways to overcome this danger."