Bishop’s gardens a hit on open day

The Bishop of Sheffield Steven Croft and his wife Ann in their garden
The Bishop of Sheffield Steven Croft and his wife Ann in their garden

HUNDREDS of guests took tea and admired the grounds when the Bishop of Sheffield threw open his gardens for the annual open day at his home.

Bishop Steven Croft and his wife, Ann, opened the gardens at Bishopscroft on Snaithing Lane, Ranmoor, for an afternoon of stalls, music and horticultural delights.

Up to 300 visitors gathered on the lawns and many were grateful that their prayers for kind weather had been answered.

Bishop Croft said the garden open day went ‘brilliantly’.

“We were pleased with the large amount of people who came, and most of all the weather, which had been dreadful,” he said.

“At 6.30 on Sunday morning it had been pouring down with rain so we were very relieved.”

Guests listened to music from the Dinnington Brass Band and browsed stalls selling refreshments run by parishioners from St John’s Church in Ranmoor.

There was also a plant stall and children were kept entertained with some traditional games.

The bishop said it was the third garden opening he has held but that the tradition dates back more than 30 years.

“It goes back to when Bishop David Lunn was bishop in the 80s and 90s so it’s been going for quite a long time,” he said.

“We were delighted with the turnout, we really enjoyed it. It’s a lovely thing to be able to do and money is raised for good causes also.”

More than £1,000 was collected, which will be donated to St Luke’s Hospice and the Cathedral Archer Project.

Features in the Bishopscroft garden include an orchard with fruit trees and a large pond populated with koi carp, shrubs and rockeries.

“There’s a lovely big cedar tree in the centre of the garden which looks absolutely beautiful in all weathers and a camomile lawn,” Bishop Croft said.

“It blooms with little yellow flowers just for a few weeks every year and it’s blooming now.

“I think people really enjoyed seeing it.”

He added: “We have a gardener who works really hard to get the garden ready for this day, it takes quite a bit of looking after.

“I think there are some people who come who are very keen gardeners and like looking at other people’s gardens but the majority come along to support the event.

“We’ll definitely be doing it again next year.”