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Why has a wooden structure popped up in this city churchyard?

PUBLISHED: 08:29 11 June 2019 | UPDATED: 10:34 11 June 2019

The 10ft-sculpture which has been erected in All Saints' Church's new twinning garden. Picture: Archant

The 10ft-sculpture which has been erected in All Saints' Church's new twinning garden. Picture: Archant

Archant

Those passing All Saints' Church in Norwich may have spotted a new figure looming in the church grounds.

How the sculpture will look when it is complete. Pictured: George Ishmael. Photo Adrian JuddHow the sculpture will look when it is complete. Pictured: George Ishmael. Photo Adrian Judd

However, what these passers-by may not know of is the journey the structure has been on prior to being placed in the churchyard - having been to Germany and back.

The 10ft sculpture, which has pride of place in the garden, is the first feature of a new vision for the churchyard celebrating the city's relationships with its twins.

Pioneered by the Friends of Norwich in Bloom, the chuchyard on Westlegate is in the process of being transformed into a twinning garden, which will feature nods to all of Norwich's twin cities.

The centre piece of this is the wood and stained glass sculpture, which was initially designed for Norwich In Bloom's guest entry to the 2011 Bundesgartenschau in the German city of Koblenz.

Thus far, just the wooden part of the scultpure has been erected, with its top and stained glass to be fitted later in the week.

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Then next week, the friends will begin planting around the garden, with plants native to each of the city's twins - Koblenz, Novi Sad, Rouen and El Viejo.

George Ishmael, one of the trustees, said: "It must be nearly a year since we were given permission but we are getting there now.

"The hope is the garden can honour our various twins and provide a place for quiet reflection."

However, it is not solely the twin cities that will be honoured in the garden, with city stalwart Roy Blower also set to be acknowledged.

Mr Blower, who died last month, was a devoted trustee of the friends and his wife Beryl pioneered the concept of having a twinning garden.

Before his death, the pair donated a bench for the garden, which will be dedicated to the former lord mayor.

Mr Ishmael added: "Roy had been involved in the friends for a long time and was always a strong member of Norwich in Bloom.

"We think it is a lovely idea to honour him and hope to also have a plaque installed in the garden."

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