Named after Bicester’s second Parish Priest, Fr. Thomas Foynes (right) and the brain-child of its eighth, Fr. Paul Martin, The Foynes Memorial Garden was created out of an odd piece of waste ground and involved the demolition of a derelict outbuilding that had been used for storage and as a homeless shelter, between the church and the presbytery. The garden for the burial of cremated remains was 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
The words are taken from the rite for the interment of cremated remains in the Order of Christian Funerals. The lettering was 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 Christ within the family of the Church. The garden was blessed by Bishop William Kenney on the 12th of September 2010.