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Father B's Garden Spot at Immanuel, Bay Minette


Left - The Branscomb Family: Morgan, Lisa, Anna, Sarah, and John. Middle - statue of St. Fiacre. Right - Marcia Pepperman and Albert Kennington. Photo credit: Andrew Williams.

On Father's Day, June 17, the vicar and congregation of Immanuel, Bay Minette, dedicated a garden spot in memory of the Rev. Canon William Maurice Branscomb who served as priest-in-charge 2006-2008. He and his wife, Joan, were much loved in Immanuel and are remembered with affection. Their son and daughter-in-law, John and Lisa, together with granddaughters Morgan, Anna, and Sarah, were present for the dedication.

Following the morning Eucharist, the congregation processed from the church to the garden. Worshippers carried hand bells, ringing them freely along the way, and gathered around a statue of St. Fiacre. Fr. B, as he is remembered, placed this statue during his time at Immanuel. As I have recently learned, St. Fiacre was born in Ireland in the late 6th century. In his monastery, he was the herbalist who knew the healing properties of plants. For this, he became known as the patron saint of gardeners. In the statue, he is seen to hold a plant in his left hand and a spade in his right hand.

During his time with Immanuel, Fr. B and Joan often brought flowers from their Foley home with which they made beautiful arrangements for the altar.

Fr. B's garden spot spans the width of the parish house on the north border of the church yard. Most of the planting and tending in Fr. B’s garden is done by Marcia Pepperman, church organist and treasurer, with support from Poppy Beasley, senior warden. Plantings in this area include Day Lilies and Oak Leaf Hydrangea, both blooming now. Nearby are several fern, a Little Gem Magnolia, and a Loquat.

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