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.
“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 email@example.com. 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