A place to pull in for a glimpse of the yacht-filled creek that turns out to be so much more. You look across to the water, through a multitude of tropical trees and shrubbery to where the sun catches the still waters of St Just Creek. But it doesn’t hold your gaze for long as the foreground begins to dawn on your consciousness. Palm trees tower tall over English late autumn leaves, orange trunks interspersed with…gravestones?
We stumble down steep paths through walkways sided by bamboo, past the palms and under giant ferns until a waterside chapel comes into view. A spider’s web of interwoven paths leads us all in our own separate directions of discovery. The gardens are filled with curiosities; streams, gullies, dells, monuments. And some bunting. A party-like adornment with a backdrop of headstones that only adds to the oddity of the place – it’s not often you find something delightful in a graveyard!
Another little walkway opens out to a horror film of the vegetarian variety – an army of giant zombie plants, their rotting greenery hanging off the weakening stems. Morbidly fascinating in their pre-spring state, the Gunnera were a shadow of their summer-selves against the clean blue creek behind.
When our group reassembled at the church, inside didn’t disappoint either – this religious sanctum was ready for a modern audience, with a ‘kiddies corner’ to keep the little ones quiet during prayer, and a shop-cum-café in the back corner. It hadn’t lost its sacred spirit however, so we paid our respects and quietly departed.
'Welcome to our church - whatever tradition is yours, please find no barrier here and receive with us the Sacrament at Holy Communion. If you are a family with young children then it is a special joy for us that you should all be in church together. If one of the children becomes restless, don't be embarrassed, there are books and toys available and the Sidesman will show you where they are.'