Solemn Mass and the Blessing of the Foynes Memorial Garden by The Rt. Rev. William Kenney, C.P.
Sunday, 12th September 2010.
The Foynes Memorial Garden has been named after the late Father Thomas Foynes (right), who was parish priest of Bicester from 1946 - 1964. During this time the Church of the Immaculate Conception was built. It was blessed and opened for worship on 23rd March 1963.
The garden has been designed by John PLatts, who is a local landscape architect, and constructed and planted by Robert Wingard and Ian Picken of Robert James Landscapes Ltd., London. The gates and benches were made by Dan Wood and the project was supervised by Odran McShane, of TSH Architects, Oxford.
The central feature of the garden is a beautiful curved memorial wall of Portland stone, upon which the names of those interred there will be inscribed. The wall bears the additional inscription:
GRANT YOUR SERVANTS A PLACE OF REST AND PEACE WHERE THE WORLD OF DUST AND ASHES HAS NO DOMINION
THese words are taken from the rite for the interment of cremated remains in the Order of Christian Funerals.
The lettering on the wall will be cut into the wall by Giles MacDonald and Alan Thewlis, of Memorials by Artists, who work from a studio in Banbury. As new names are added over the years, the appearance of the memorial wall will change and develop, and the simple way in which they will be inscribed side by side is intended to reflect our oneness in Chirst within the family of the Church.
The Prayer of Blessing.
God of all consolation, by your just decree our bodies return to the dust from which they were shaped, yet in your way of mercy you have turned this condition of darkness and death into a proof of your loving care. In your providence you assured Abrahem, our fater in faith, of a burial place in the land of promise. You extolled your servant Tobit for his charity in burying the dead. You willed that your own Son be laid to rest in a new tomb, so that he might rise from it, the victor over death, and offer us the pledge of our own resurrection. Grant that this memorial garden may, by the power of your blessing + be a place of rest and hope. May those whose ashes are buried here sleep in your peace to rise immortal at the coming of your Son. May this place be a comfort to the living a sign of their hope for unending life. May prayers be offered here continually in supplication for those who sleep in Christ and in constant praise of your mercy. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.