Award for St Luke’s Churchyard

Going green and winning bronze - : Freda Bishop (centre) with the Vicar of Blymill, Rev Linda Beech and the Mayor of Ellesmere Alan Clarke
Going green and winning bronze – : Freda Bishop (centre) with the Vicar of Blymill, Rev Linda Beech and the Mayor of Ellesmere Alan Clarke

Over the last two to three years, the Parochial Church Council at St. Luke’s at Tittensor has been considering how we care for the churchyard – both to conserve the plants and animals already living in the churchyards and to increase the diversity of plant and animal life.
One of the five marks of mission supported by Lichfield Diocese is “to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth”. St. Luke’s embraces this aim and where better to start than in and around the church building. In April 2012 the PCC endorsed a nature-friendly approach to the management of the church buildings and surrounding land.
In order to do this, we have made and put up bird and bat boxes, planted wildflower seeds, made a compost bin and provided a logpile to be used as cover for small mammals, newts and beetles. When appropriate, we continue to be assisted by members of Tittensor Tots. We have also changed how or when maintenance work is done – the hedges are now cut in late July after the nesting season and part of the grass has been left uncut as having grass at varying heights will help wildlife to flourish.
For the first time this year, we decided to enter the Churchyard Awards Scheme run by Lichfield Diocese. Judges visited all participating churchyards between May and August and we were very pleased to hear that we were awarded a Bronze Award. On Saturday 16th November a representative from the church attended the Award Ceremony at Blymill near Weston-under-Lizard to collect our award and to get some more ideas!
Next year we are hoping to sow more wildflower seeds and plant a variety of flowers and shrubs to attract bees and butterflies. We aim to build a boggy area for associated plants and amphibians and provide a ‘bug hotel’. Someone has already offered to provide a hedgehog shelter.
As Christians, we believe that God made all living things and that He gave humans the dominion of the earth. We believe that we need to have due regard to the wellbeing of all living things and to care for them in a way that reflects the teaching of Jesus. We hope that as people walk through or visit our churchyard they may be inspired to stop and rest awhile and to reflect on the wonder and beauty of God’s creation.