Lady Runcie


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The Independent Online

As a former member of the secretarial staff at Lambeth Palace, whose office window looked out over the back of the building,I should like to add an additional note to the obituary of Lady "Lindy" Runcie, widow of Robert, the former Archbishop (l7 January), writes Stella Taylor.

Acknowledgment should be made of her enthusiasm and tireless efforts to create something of great beauty in the gardens of the Palace. She worked to encourage interest and sponsorship in creating themed areas of the garden so that when completed the garden (the second largest in London, I believe) was an oasis of great beauty. It gave pleasure to very many – those who worked in the Palace, and the many who came to visit and enjoy receptions and garden parties there, not least the hundreds of bishops and their wives and staff from the worldwide Anglican Communion who enjoyed a lunch in marquees after the opening service in St Paul's Cathedral of the Lambeth Conference in l988.

Lady Runcie worked in the grounds herself. I remember finding her, one lunch hour, at the very bottom of the garden in a large area of waste land at the time, scattering wildflower seed by hand from a large sackful which someone had donated. The following year that same area was colourful and breathtakingly beautiful.