Associate Quiet Gardens
Associate Quiet Gardens are usually within organisational settings such as schools, hospitals or community gardens.
Associate Quiet Garden spaces are provided for refuge and quietude. The host organisation may be unconnected to any faith tradition, but they recognise the value of the provision of space for quiet and stillness for their staff, clients and students.
Each Associate Quiet Garden offers a green space for stillness and quiet, deep awareness and connection to nature. Usually the space is just available for personal use. Where there is to be teaching it would either be non-faith specific, such as about mindfulness, or from the Christian tradition.
If an organisation does have a spiritual base and would like to join the associate scheme it is important for the integrity of the Movement that that spiritual base is clearly rooted, and in alignment, with the Christian tradition.
We hope those associating with us will warm to our core values of hospitality, contemplative prayer and nature (re)connection.
Associate Quiet Gardens are a designated outdoor quiet space, where students, staff, patients and visitors can withdraw for a short while to recharge batteries, to be still and observe the natural world.
They will vary greatly in size and design. They can be large or small, manicured or wild. The key feature is that the space is set aside, even just for a few hours, for quiet reflection. The outdoor space will act as both a context and focus, in which to share the inner search for wholeness, natural beauty and silence.
Access and use of associate Quiet Gardens will be dependent on the local situation. Most are not open to the public, but instead are a resource for staff, students and clients.
The outdoor space is primarily not a space for talking but for being. For some people who come to a Quiet Garden it may be their first experience of silence and for that reason they may need some encouragement and help in knowing how to be quiet.
Ideally the space offered needs to have provision of shelter and access to toilet facilities.
A supportive team
At the heart of every Quiet Garden we suggest there is a small group of people who will support the host and help design the format and use of that particular Quiet Garden.
When becoming associated with the Quiet Garden Movement we ask you to agree to the following statement of intent:
– We are committed to weaving creative, caring and contemplative threads into the fabric of everyday life. We are providing a designated space for stillness and reflection which will be made available as deemed appropriate by us.
– We agree to the suggested annual associate donation (currently £20 / €30 / $50 – or similar) to the Quiet Garden Trust, to help cover the costs of running the Movement, and we note that, where applicable, the Trust asks that any surplus funds from Quiet Garden days (after deducting expenses) are donated to the Trust to help cover the costs of running the Movement worldwide.
– Our Quiet Garden will be financially and organisationally independent.
– We understand that association is at the discretion of The Quiet Garden Trust, whose Trustees have the right to withdraw it at any time. The Trustees’ decision would be final.
Examples of Quiet Gardens
Examples of Associate spaces
“Quiet Gardens vary greatly in size and design. They can be large or small, manicured or wild.”