Writer, photographer, educator, explorer of places new, with a passion for adding fun back into life.
Published March 13th 2018
A sacred space of peace and tranquillity
Good Friday is a special time to plan a visit to The Sacred Garden. Here you will find beautiful half life-size carrara marble sculptures that depict the Easter story of Jesus.
The Stations of the Cross Fourteen sculptures tell the Easter story. Each weighs half a ton and has three to four figures. They are set in a beautiful serene garden that is open to the public every day of the week, from 9.00am to 5.00pm. Good Friday is special, because guides volunteer their time, from 7.30am to 1.00pm, to pause and share information and short prayers at each sculpture. Groups of 15-20 people leave the gate with a guide at regular intervals. Visitors receive a booklet that gives a description of the sculpture at each Station of the Cross. You can choose to participate, as I did last year, by reading at one of the Stations. Visitors may also simply listen or quietly meditate on the words that are spoken.
After your tour of the Garden, black coffee and bitter herb bread are available in the Ryles Room. Last coffee will be served at 12.15pm. Children are very welcome and tours for families are available between 9.00am and 12.00pm. Families are invited to meet at their guide at the gate.
There are many beautiful aspects of the garden. The deep roots of history are evident in the towering Morton Bay Fig that becomes visible after you leave Station 2. It has long outlived the original 1850's farmhouse that occupied the land. Viewing Stations 4 and 5 takes you on a loop around a lawn and low hedged garden that was once the vegetable patch for the Brothers of the Monastery.
A national heritage eucalypt Corroboree Tree stands near Station 6. Hedges planted in 1944, have grown high enough to walk under and add fun for children and adults alike, as you follow the path from Station 7 to 8.
The Olive Grove Walk is my favourite part of The Sacred Garden and features an uneven rough brick path. Walking in the garden, viewing the detailed sculptures and hearing the Easter story is bound to restore some peace if your life resembles a rough path.
Good Friday Two thousand people attended the Opening Ceremony on Good Friday in 2003. Two to three thousand people continue to visit each Good Friday. Come early as the Garden gets busier as the day progresses. The beauty and peace of the Sacred Garden will stay with you.