New Order in the Churchyards

Churchyard, News

St Barnabas’

At St Barnabas’, we are blessed with much outside space including the Jubilee and Bible gardens. The Jubilee garden is tended by volunteers as well as supervised input from those attending our youth club, the hangout. Ann Phillipson, on behalf of the Bible Reading Fellowship, planted a Centenary Rose there to celebrate 100 years of Bible Reading Fellowship last year. The Bible garden to the front of the church is an established garden featuring many plants referenced in the Bible, and this year, in the open space to the front of the church we planted a tree for the Queen’s canopy.

To keep the ground looking at their best more volunteers are needed along with funds to allow Jason to take on the tasks beyond the time or capabilities of the volunteers.

If you would like to help fund garden work in both of our churches, please donate with the ref “Churchyard” to: Parish of Worth, Pound Hill & Maidenbower Sort Code: 40-18-22, Account Number: 61223372.

St Nicholas’

“No Mow May”‘ was probably the start of the problem.  It gave our local biodiversity a boost and allowed the birds, bees, bats and butterflies a feast of Good Things but very quickly meant God’s Acre turned into a Field of Gold.

For many years our churchyard has been tended by a group of volunteers who were able to meet regularly on a Monday morning. This year, age, injury and illness caught up with the team and we have had to come up with a new approach to care for our ancient burial ground.

At St Nicholas’, the churchyard is open, meaning we can receive ashes for interment, often in our recently created Garden of Remembrance. We therefore receive no public money from either local or county councils whose job is only to maintain closed churchyards. After a recruitment drive, we now have a small team of working-age volunteers who need to work in a new way.

Our Sexton, Jason Watts, provides coordination and support for any new gardeners and gets to understand their priorities and motivations for working with us. The younger team can only work as and when, meaning that the St Nicholas’ Garden Party WhatsApp group has been of vital importance indicating what needs doing, and who is attending when.

If there is work in the churchyard that is beyond the time or capabilities of the volunteers, Jason takes this on as paid work. This has been made possible by a generous donation from a parishioner upset at the speed which the space can fall into neglect if not carefully looked after.

We hope and pray that this hybrid model of voluntary and paid work will prove resilient and restore the churchyard to a more ordered beauty.

If you would like to join our team of volunteers please email Rose Wells on stnwarden@worthparish.org. Alternatively, you can always donate to our Churchyard Fund (funding garden work in both churches) with the ref “Churchyard” to: Parish of Worth, Pound Hill & Maidenbower Sort Code: 40-18-22 , Account Number: 61223372

 

Memorial Garden Plans

Building, Churchyard, Remembrance

To most people, this photo is probably really rather dull; an empty field and a wooden fence. So what? However, there are those who remember that in 1994 the parish bought this land –  next to St Nicholas’ churchyard on the south and east side and once part of the Bishop’s Lodge kitchen garden – with a most generous donation from John Hillsley. This new fence replaces one put up at the time, as a condition of the purchase.

Since then, the land has remained unused and undeveloped and yet the original intention, that of creating a new addition to the churchyard for the interment of cremated remains, has never been lost nor forgotten. It was earlier this year that the old and rotten fence was replaced; likewise, the decrepit brick wall on the opposite side of the field has recently been spruced up and cleared of the ivy that had been damaging it including, in the winter storms, the ivy lifting off and bringing down two or three rows of loose bricks!

Along with some careful tree maintenance, preparations for the new Garden of Remembrance/Memorial Garden have been quietly progressing and, as we now have the support of both the local Crawley planners and the Diocesan authorities, we are all set to complete the garden. There will be a permeable resin bound path, 1.2 metres wide x 80 metres long, creating an enclosed space in the middle of the garden where unmarked interments will be and along the outer edge of the path, provision will be made for burial plots with granite tablets for other interments.  Some curved, two-seater oak benches will be placed along the path at suitable intervals and these, as well as a very few, carefully-selected mature trees will be available for people to purchase in memory of a loved one. Speak to Father Michael if you are interested in this – details are yet to be confirmed but the cost would probably be in the region of £400-£500.

Father Michael

A St Nicholas’ parishioner adds: “At the time of land purchase, there was a lot of parishioner participation even including clearing the ground and people also gave financially over some years for this project. In 2000, the Millennium Brass Band performed a concert on the designated land with money raised going into the pot as well. However, other things took priority and the land remained undeveloped. The Churchyard Maintenance team have been mowing the grass there in recent years and both they, and all who have contributed to this project in the past, will be very pleased to see this project coming to fruition.”

Joan Tick

 

 

Accessing Our Churches

Building, Churchyard, Covid-19, Prayers

At St Nicholas’

Scaffolding is being erected for urgent repairs to the spire and roof at St Nicholas’. Therefore, the churchyard is closed between 7.30am and 4pm, Monday to Friday for the next two weeks.

At St Barnabas’

We are pleased to say that the Narthex (the area separate from the main church) at St Barnabas’ is now open for private prayer from 10am – 4pm every day except Tuesdays when it will be open 11am – 4pm after our service on Facebook.

  • One person or ‘family bubble’ at a time please
  • Please keep this door open