The Seeds of Hope Children’s Garden can be found in the grounds of Guildford Cathedral in Surrey.  It is a place where all children, with their families or teachers or carers, can explore feeling of loss of all kinds through the cycle of life always present at the heart of a garden.

The long road that led to the creation of the Garden began in 1987 when our daughter, Laura, was stillborn.  In the years that followed I set up and ran the Guildford SANDS group offering support to families when a baby dies at or around birth.  I also began working for Child Bereavement UK.

Through listening to bereaved families, I became increasingly aware of the importance of publicly acknowledging the existence of babies and children who had died. The idea was born for a ‘Celebration of Life’ service of remembrance for all babies and children loved and lost, whatever the cause and however long ago.

Fund raising began to refurbish the Children’s Chapel and provide two Children’s Remembrance Books.  These are open to anyone who would like to have their child, born or unborn, however young or old, remembered in this way.

During these years of learning from and working with bereaved families and children, the ideas behind the Children’s Garden took shape.  It took 13 years to raise the money but the Garden was finally opened in 2008 and remains open to all.

There is an area dedicated to each season…

The Spring Garden is the garden of hope.  New life returns after the darkness of winter reminding us that death and loss can be a beginning as well as an end. 

The Summer Garden is the garden of light with a sculpture at its centre of a boy and girl having fun reminding us that even in very sad times, there can be moments of happiness too.  All living things eventually die but their essence lives on in the new life that grows from the seeds of the old.

The Autumn Garden is the garden of change.  Time passes and nothing ever stays the same, the outside shape of things becomes different with time.  A bud becomes a flower, a flower becomes a fruit and the fruit drops from the tree.  But in the fruit are the seeds from which new life will grow.

The Winter Garden is the Garden of thoughtfulness. Like the early days after a loss, everything is hard and there’s no sign of colour.  A labyrinth represents life’s journey from birth to death.  On this journey things change, winter turns to spring each year.