A CENTENARIAN opened a £12,000 Peace Garden in Kingsley which she helped fund with £2,000 of her birthday money.

Mary Makin, 100, was resident organist for 60 years at The Hurst Methodist Church, where the garden has been developed.

To mark her service and milestone birthday last year, she was invited to cut a ceremonial ribbon and take the first step into the tranquil retreat.

She said: “I thought it was a very good idea to develop that plot of land into a peace haven that people could come into.

“I don’t know what I’d have done with them, so I thought if I got anything for my birthday it could go to the chapel.”

Mary said the peace garden was ‘very beautiful’ and she was delighted to be among 90 residents who attended the opening and a service of dedication, led by minister Steve Santry.

Plans were hatched last year to develop the quarter-acre site, and four months of landscaping and planting followed the church’s receipt of a £6,700 grant from the WREN Landfill Communities Fund, plus donations from Cheshire West and Chester Council, the pilates group who meet at the church and individual donations from villagers.

The garden was designed and built by Norley-based David Mort (Gardens and Homes), and villagers also contributed countless hours of voluntary work to produce the community haven.

It includes a wildflower section, a rustic oak fence and entrance gate leading to a water feature depicting the Methodist Orb and Cross.

The Hurst property steward, Brian Moores, said: “Whilst the garden is on church-owned land, it is very definitely open to everyone. There is easy access and plenty of seating and it is a very peaceful place where people can come and take time out to reflect.”

The Peace Garden, which will be included in Kingsley’s popular Garden Trail next month, is the major feature of The Hurst Methodist Church’s 140th anniversary celebrations which include a family picnic, anniversary lunch and a concert at the church by Frodsham and District Choral Society on Saturday.