On this day, ‘Spy Wednesday’ we remember Judas Iscariot and the deal he made with the religious authorities to betray Jesus. This tree, in the St George’s Cathedral Close is a Cercis silisquastrum nicknamed ‘Judas Tree’. Mythology tells that Judas hanged himself from such a tree, turning the white blossom red and it has blossomed red ever since to remember the sin of Judas. I prefer to see the blossom as a symbol of God’s grace which can encompass even the most lost soul. We can cherish the idea that Christ will tarry in hell whilst even one soul remains to be saved.

The College/Cathedral garden is biblically themed with many flowers and trees planted there which are mentioned in the Bible or which have connections such as Ziziphus spina-christi or ‘Christ Thorn’ because it is thought that Jesus’s thorny crown was made from this.

The College’s gardener, Samer lovingly tends this garden and has done for thirty years. But like all the local staff on the College, he has been temporarily laid off owing to the pandemic. There is much that brings sadness in these days. We believe that this season of fear and grieving will give way to new life and hope as the blossom bursts forth from the bare tree. This is the promise of Easter, when all appears to be lost, it is not lost but waiting to be redeemed.