“Wednesday, November 15th dawned cold but dry – a really good start for myself and my colleague, Nick – as we were doing our yearly Volunteering Day at All Hallow’s Church. HSBC has a scheme whereby they encourage everyone who works there to take one day a year (fully paid!) to work for a Charity or Local Community. Living locally in Shelley, I had asked Revd Amanda if there was anything we could do to help – and she put us in touch with John Wakley.
John was an amazing host for the day – meeting us at 09:30, John did not put us straight to work – but showed us around the amazing Church and let us see what hard work had gone into the logging of all the graves in the Churchyard. It genuinely was fascinating.
The work we then got involved with was clearing an area of the Graveyard which had become a little overgrown – it soon became clear to us what an enormous undertaking it is for John and his colleagues to keep the Churchyard in such a well-kept condition. The Church is very lucky to have a team of such amazing volunteers.
Shortly after lunch, we were lucky enough to see just how fantastic it is that the Graves are all logged in such detail – a gentleman, doing his Family Tree, had traveled all the way from Kidderminster to All Hallow’s - as he had discovered he had a family member buried there. The logging system worked perfectly and John was able to take the enquirer straight to two family graves – whereby the man found many more relatives than what he had actually come for!!
Nick and I had a lovely day – welcomed by everyone who came into the Churchyard - and in particular by John and Amanda – and we did feel as though the ‘fruits of our labour’ were noticeable when we finally hung up our tools at approximately 15:30. Woe hope to be back soon - Ruth Bottomley
GREEN PENNANT AWARD WINNER AGAIN IN 2017
The Kirkburton Churchyard Team would like to invite more people to get involved in the upkeep of the All Hallows Church churchyard. The winning of ten Green Flag Community Awards in recognition of the work put in to create this green space, has been an achievement worth celebrating providing a welcoming, safe and well maintained space for all to enjoy. Now it is important that we to maintain all that has been achieved and build on the recommendations of the award. Hopefully, it will never become a wilderness again but we are always in need of more volunteer support to keep on top of the seasonal demands of the churchyard.
We believe in the importance of maintaining this green sanctuary for the benefit of the whole community. When you work in the churchyard you realise just how many people do visit the churchyard to tend graves, remember loved ones or simply feel drawn to walk through this peaceful space. The popularity of tracing family members has brought and increasing number of people in search of their ancestor's graves and the growing awareness of churchyards as an important area for nature conservation brings enthusiasts to witness the richness of its wild plants and creatures.
But the recognised benefits of volunteering means that you may also
◆ meet new people and make friends
◆ develop new skills and interests
◆ improve existing skills
◆ improve your employment prospects
◆ give something back to your local community
◆ make a difference to someone else's life
The churchyard team often give their time on Saturday mornings but others give time during the week. Any time you have to give at any time of the week would be very much appreciated.
◆ Maintaining paths, monuments, gates and benches
◆ Mowing, strimming and clipping grassed areas around graves and ashes memorials
◆ Clearing leaves, moss, grass and hay
◆ Pruning, planting, weeding and seeding
◆ Flattening and reseeding of uneven grassed areas
◆ Consultation and involvement with church, school and community groups and with wildlife and conservation organisations
◆ Documenting maintenance plans and proposals and recording wild species.
After the EOC helped to clear the area at the back of All Hallows' Church, Sebastian and Amanda started a bit more clearing and planting. A peace garden is planned for this area with all white flowers (also to remind me of the EOC). Sebastian calls it a prayer garden.
Sebastian worked really hard clearing out old roots and learning what is needed to plant plants. He worked solidly for 3 and a half hours with Amanda. The next day we went and purchased his own gardening gloves.
Sebastian is now thinking of becoming the newest member of the Churchyard them, if they will have him.