Search

Barkingside priest builds fish pond to bring community together

PUBLISHED: 12:00 04 June 2020

Andrew Appiah stood by his newly-built pond outside his home in Barkingside (Pic: Tina Grayson)

Andrew Appiah stood by his newly-built pond outside his home in Barkingside (Pic: Tina Grayson)

Archant

The Rev Andrew Appiah has built a communal fish pond in his front garden to bring cheer to members of his community.

Priest Andrew Appiah has built a pond in his front garden in Barkingside (Pic: Andrew Appiah)Priest Andrew Appiah has built a pond in his front garden in Barkingside (Pic: Andrew Appiah)

The 42-year-old, of Oakhurst Close, Barkingside, was keen to lift everyone’s spirits during these dark times and has got everyone involved in naming fish and contributing in anyway they possibly can.

Neighbours have helped Andrew build the pond.

Among the fish are Boris – after the PM – and Wanda, named after the comic book character Scarlet Witch.

“We all know the situation that we’re in, and we just felt that we needed to do something to bring some hope, light and laughter into the hearts of people really,” said Andrew, the curate at Holy Trinity Church Barkingside.

A fish ready for Andrew Appiah's new communal pond in Barkingside (Pic: Andrew Appiah)A fish ready for Andrew Appiah's new communal pond in Barkingside (Pic: Andrew Appiah)

“We’ve got some vulnerable people on our street, I mean we’re all vulnerable, but we have some who are particularly so we decided to do all we can to lift up people’s spirits in this difficult time.

You may also want to watch:

“I wasn’t sure what to do at first. I had a fish pond at my previous address in Cambridge before I moved here, so I thought if we build a fish pond and get everyone involved in that it can be something that we can hold onto and be a part of.

“It’s been brilliant. Digging it was great fun because it was not like it was something I was doing by myself, people were all doing little bits.

“These fish people have contributed and named has given them a connection to the pond and a life during all the mist of the darkness, deaths and pain, and it brings a smile on people’s faces which is amazing.”

It has helped inspire people and gave plenty of locals more energy with others heading into the close to see the pond.

“It’s difficult for people to get motivated, get inspired, to even live as some mornings you wake up and wish that you didn’t wake up or that you could turn back the clock.

“But this gives a real sense to people, I would send photos to everyone saying this is how we got, so even the people that couldn’t or can’t come out to have a look felt part of it.

“There is quite a lot of children, they’re not at school so they’re around, and are getting involved.

“It just community feel, the spirit lifted me, and that’s what drove me to continue because I’ve not built a fish pond from scratch before.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ilford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ilford Recorder