Celebrations are taking place this week in churchyards across the country for National Cherishing Churchyard Week.
Caring for God’s Acre, the charity dedicated to the conservation of burial sites of all kinds is promoting National Cherishing Churchyards Week and helping people to organise events which celebrate these special places at the heart of our communities.
For instance a rich diversity of plant and animal life can be discovered in burial sites and they often contain distinctive and veteran trees such as Yew trees, the oldest living things in Britain. The stonework of the memorials and boundary walls provides a home for a mosaic of mosses, ferns and lichens. Burial sites are also important places for archaeology and history, providing an accessible resource for community learning. Most important of all - they provide a tranquil place for remembrance and quiet reflection.
Events on offer during Cherishing Churchyards Week range from flower-rich churchyards taking part in village gardens open to guided tours, trails and quizzes. St Chad’s, Far Headingley in Yorkshire has a day of activities on Saturday 13th June, which includes a guided walk lead by geologist Dr John Varker. At the other end of the country at St Laurence-in-Thanet, Ramsgate in Kent you could join a guided tour on Saturday 6th June of this historic churchyard, resting place of royalty, and also enjoy the many wildflowers growing here. St. Martin’s, Flixton, Manchester has a ‘Bug Hunt’ on the 6th.
In Wales at the churchyard in Meifod, Powys there are guided tours and children’s trails. Cemeteries are also joining the celebrations – Bath Natural History Society is leading a walk around Smallcombe Garden Cemetery to look at its amazing biodiversity. To see all the week’s events go to http://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/index.php/cherishing-churchyards-week/cherishing-churchyards-week-events.html
It’s not too late to celebrate go to Caring for God’s Acre’s website at ww.caringforgodsacre.org.uk where there is a wealth of information to support Cherishing Churchyards Week including suggestions children’s activities, how to attract volunteers, health and safety - And the special Cherishing Churchyards Logo.
‘There’s no better way of involving people, young and old, than through events with a difference such as those you an put on during this special week,’ said Andrea Gilpin, Cherishing Churchyards Week Coordinator
Cherishing Churchyards Week is supported by CfGA’s Heritage Lottery (HLF) funded National Project, which is working its way across England and Wales running conferences and training events in fifteen different regions.
For further information on Cherishing Churchyards Week or the work of the charity, Caring for God’s Acre, take a look at www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk