Churchyards in parishes across Lichfield Diocese have been recognised for the vital role they play in supporting the environment to flourish.
The annual Lichfield Diocese Churchyard Awards saw 25 churches receive a special award for being Nature Friendly. Gwen Johnson and Ruth Williams, who organise the award scheme, expressed their delight that the number of Nature Friendly awards had shown a significant increase over previous years.
The award for the churchyard with the highest score went to St Michael and All Angels Colwich (pictured above). Roy and Yvonne Munro, who received the award commented: To receive this unexpected accolade is the culmination of four years of hard work by the team, and came as a shock to everybody in the church community.
The award for the best church garden went to St Marks Basford. The awards were presented by Sue Cooper, Manager of the national charity Caring for Gods Acre (CfGA), who gave an inspiring talk about the way in which churchyards can play a key role in supporting natural environments at a time when wild flower meadows and natural habitat for living creatures are in decline.
Caring for the environment is a key part of the Dioceses Transforming Communities programme. The Diocese has entered into an experimental agreement with CfGA to provide support for parishes. CfGA have put together, from their experience, a pack of advice notes covering a wide range of subjects connected with burial grounds. The pack can be downloaded free from their website or purchased from them as a bound copy for 20.
Under the Dioceses contract with CfGA, churches can have a free 30-minute telephone consultation with them about how to apply the advisory material at their site. ACfGA will take part in a series of conference/workshops around the Diocese during 2017. The first of these will be held on February 11th at Blymhill Village Hall (just off the A5 near Weston under Lizard). The conference will cover issues like regulations, trees, bees and walls, and helpful local organisations, with plenty of opportunity to ask questions. To register for the event email firstname.lastname@example.org.