Those visiting St. Dunstan’s for the first time often comment that they have found an oasis, a sanctuary, or refuge. Indeed, our beautiful five acres of wooded land just minutes from the city do have a retreat feel to them.
St. Dunstan’s has been designated as a wildlife sanctuary. We share this land with many of God’s creatures – foxes, deer, raccoons, rabbits, turtles, hawks, pileated woodpeckers, Canadian geese, great blue herons, barred owls, and many other birds.
A nature trail takes you up the ridge through the woods, where you will find it hard to believe the noise and busyness of the city are just a few miles away.
Two areas of our land have special significance. Beside the church is our memorial garden, where the ashes of many of our former members (and a few beloved pets) have been interred under the shadow of a rustic wooden cross built by parishioner Toby Raper. A beautiful wrought iron sculpture of the tree of life, crafted by artist Shan Sutherland, forms a gateway to the garden, and contains the names of those who are buried there. The beautiful sculpture was given by parishioner Bob Adams in memory of his wife, Nancy Carter Elliott.
Our other sacred spot is the Beech Grove behind the church. Seven ancient beech trees form the outer ring of this grove, which is also nestled by a deck that runs the length of our office wing and parish hall. The Beech Grove is the site of celebrations, including our annual Flying Pig BBQ, children’s games, and occasional worship services.