God's Garden in the City

Regina Watkin-Kolb is a member of the German Lutheran congregation in Nottingham and also worships at St Mary's in The Lace Market. She is a member of the Nottingham Council of Churches, and recently helped arrange the visit from Karlsruhe of a number of German Christians (see Wally's report.) Regina and her family live in The Lace Market.

Ever since I lived in Nottingham I lived in an old house right in the heart of the old city. To begin with it was a challenge because it was like living on another planet, broken windows, wooden blanks in front of doors, hardly a street light, hardly a tree and hardly a litter bin.

Those were the days when about twenty wild cats lived in The Lace Market; it is probably thanks to them that there were no rats. The houses surround me were so beautiful that I did not understand why not more people would live in these spacious surroundings. If this would have been the centre of any other European town, one could have hardly afforded a square metre.

I was lonely at times but I felt never alone. God's garden is there where we see it. Walking into town - so many people were my "neighbours", many more than on any estate. Human interaction needs not many words. When you love yourself and you love your neighbour, there are no barriers and communication flows wherever you are. It is wonderful to be part of a great community.

I know I had to live here to be part of the modern society with all its bad side effects; it is in the streets of the town that you can see what is going on, where politics have failed and economies have suffered, where profit is made and misery has spread.

Do I miss the house in the solitude of a walled garden? No! I would not have learned what is going on. God placed me in one of his green houses where everything can be planted and everything can be harvested, if we put our creative minds to it.

The problems we face as a human race we have done ourselves; therefore we have also the capacity to solve them.

Regina Watkin-Kolb, June 1997

St Peter's Church, Nottingham
Last revised 5th July 1997