Brambles transformed into a Tree of Life Memorial Garden
A patch of brambles in a Sandal churchyard has been transformed into a Tree of Life Memorial Garden for the internment of ashes and to provide a place for peace and remembrance.
The Area Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Revd Tony Robinson will dedicate this original work of art at a service this Sunday (Oct 26) at St Helen's Church, Sandal and in the churchyard.
The Tree of Life Memorial Garden is an original work of art created by Huddersfield architect, Liz Ashmore and Doncaster sculptor, Dan Fraser Jones, from an idea of the vicar, the Revd Rupert Martin, with help from Richard Williams furniture designer and Tecni-build Building Contractors.
Any resident of the Parish of Sandal Magna, which stretches from Busy Corner through Sandal to Newmillerdam, and from Portobello across to Walton, is entitled to have their ashes interred here, and each plot will be marked by a plaque in the shape of a leaf which can be engraved with two names.
Said the vicar, the Revd Rupert Martin: “ It has been a delight to work with Liz, Dan and Richard and the team of Tecni-build, to create a beautiful and practical Memorial Garden which will provide a place of peace and comfort for parishioners and all who visit for many years to come. We hope its iconic shape and artistic design will be an inspiration to many.”
The patch of brambles in Sandal Churchyard has been landscaped into the shape of a tree with symbolic sculptural features which reflect the verse in the Bible which speaks about heaven: “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the peoples.”
Dan Fraser Jones, pictured here, has sculpted the main features of the river, the fruit, and the leaves out of Kilkenny Blue Limestone and the seating, which represents the throne, has been designed by Richard Williams of rwfurniture.
The Tree of Life Memorial Garden can be found at the end of Sandal Churchyard, near an ancient chestnut tree, overlooking Oakenshaw Beck with Heath Common in the distance. It can be accessed from the main road down past the Church or from the nearby car park which is available when the Guy Salmon Land Rover garage is open.
Left: Dan with an outline of the Tree before the sculptural elements and the path are put in.