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Many of you will have recently read about or visited the beautiful Light of the World garden at Thanksgiving Point in Utah. (Click here to see Scot Proctor’s photo visit) It is a remarkable oasis of faith. Great Britain is about to start a similar faith promoting project aimed at paying a reverent tribute to centuries of British pioneers, and your input is needed.
The project revolves around this old farmhouse built in 1750 – the Hartwood farm.
The farmland once connected with this farmhouse was sold to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1992. The Preston Temple, the Preston MTC, and the Stake Centre were all built on that land and dedicated in 1998. Land that once grew crops and raised cattle is now harvesting and nurturing a spiritual crop.
Now, some eighteen years later, the Hartwood farmhouse and the neighbouring temple gardens are about to be reunited with the common purpose of turning the hearts of the children to their parents. A Memorial Wall with engraved granite walls, statues, stained glass, gardens and Visitor Centre will be erected to recognise:
- British Reformers such as John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, George Wishart, & John Knox
- The translators of the King James Bible
- The passengers of the Mayflower
- The 400 Protestant martyrs and 380 Catholic martyrs through whom we enjoy religious freedom
- The amazing work of Restoration forerunners such as John Wesley, John Bunyan, George Fox, George Whitfield and others
- The faith of many famous British authors, scientists, composers, poets, statesmen, etc.
- The huge British musical contribution
- The Victorian LDS emigrants who saved the early Church (many of whom are probably your ancestors)
- The “stay and build” pioneers of the 1950s and 1960s.
Such a rich tapestry of faith is worthy of recognition and remembrance. Likewise the memorial is designed to record significant milestones, such as marriage and death, of current church members – a permanent reminder of love and legacy engraved forever in stone. Within the Visitor Centre photos, stories and artefacts will tell the British story and Missionaries will be able to add their details to the Mission Wall.
We are teaming up with some very talented sculptors, stained glass artists, stonemasons and engravers who will create a visual feast of inspiring art work which can be memorialised in honour of your ancestors. More about this creative team will be announced shortly. Some of the names will be familiar to you and they will be working on new commissions
The chosen plot of land to house the Hartwood Memorial Wall is surrounded on three sides by the peaceful grounds of the Preston Temple. When the temple’s trees are not in full bloom you can see Moroni’s statue peeking through the cover. On the fourth side is the 18th century farmhouse. The ideal setting and inspiring message of this site will make a spiritual haven. A place, where in quiet reflection, we can remember the things that matter most.
So how can you help?
We would like you to visit the homepage of our website and view a short video which provides a visual overview of the site. Then we want to hear your feedback. Do you like the direction we are taking? What kind of memorials do you think we should include? Are there any people or events you think we should include? Any comments, suggestions or comments are welcomed.
We are in the final planning and scheduling stages and we want to make sure it is a monument that has meaning. The more input we can get now the more we can tailor make this oasis of faith.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts. If you do not wish to comment you can still register your interest so we can keep you updated on this exciting project. Each month we will send out a free e-newsletter to keep you abreast of all developments.
Our motivation for this memorial is to nurture gratitude for those who have gone before. We aim to increase appreciation, a renewed desire to serve and hope in your heart. Or as the apostle Paul put it,
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us…”
About the Author
Peter Fagg has a passion for our British LDS history. Over the past two decades he has introduced thousands of people to the British sites, people, and events that have shaped our story. He recently released a tour app with self-guided tours allowing visitors or sofa tourists to see, hear and discover all things British. Visit www.obelisktours.co.uk for more details. He and his wife Nicola, and their six children, live two miles from the Preston Temple.