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St Marie’s Catholic Primary School, on Fulwood Road, has unveiled a new prayer garden to provide pupils with a quiet space to foster learning and reflection.

Bishop Ralph with pupils and Mr Fernandes

  The garden was built following contributions from the Sheffield Town Trust and the school and parish communities.

The stonework of the base of the cross

  The stone Easter cross at the centre of the garden, which was chosen by pupils, was designed and made by local sculptor Richard Watts and includes the school motto.  Richard has had a connection with St Marie’s for the past 19 years with all five of his children attending the school.

  St Marie’s headteacher, John Fernandes, said, “The spiritual garden is intended to be an active space, providing pupils with opportunities for learning, for being creative and being engaged in growing and developing their own space.

  “These learning opportunities, paired with the thoughtful and reflective aspects of the prayer garden, will ensure that it will become a much cherished part of the school for many years to come.  We are grateful to all.”

Pupils in the prayer garden

  Mr Watts said, “The design the children chose – from three possible options – was for a cross carved as the ‘Tree of Life’, a symbol of Our Lord’s resurrection and triumph over sin and death.

  “The cross is carved with apple leaves and blossom with a Shakespearean quotation from the Tempest around the base – ‘Merrily, merrily shall I live now under the blossom which hangs on the bough’ which also marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death last year.”

Pupils spend some time with Bishop Ralph

  The prayer garden was officially opened in a service at the school by the Bishop Ralph Heskett and Cathedral Dean, Fr Christopher Posluszny.