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St Alphege Churchyard 2014

posted 10 May 2014, 23:03 by Solihull Parish   [ updated 20 Jan 2016, 20:46 ]
Are you able to help us in 2014 by giving up a small part of your time?

Even on a sunny winter’s day, it is quite common to find more than one person just sitting in our churchyard – perhaps having their lunch, taking a few moments to rest from a busy day or even just being near the grave of a loved one. Whenever I speak to them they are all appreciative of a quiet haven. Many visitors will also comment that we are fortunate to have such a well looked after churchyard when compared to so many others they have seen elsewhere.

As a church we pay each year for the grass cutting, including strimming around the gravestones (some 14 times a year at a cost of thousands of pounds), as well as for any major items like tree surgery. We do not currently have the funds to pay for the other ‘normal’ gardening activities, which are really needed. The Church and Churchyard committee has been operating on a level funding basis for some years now, despite costs increasing each year, meaning that we have had to look carefully as to how we could trim our expenditure to suit or use different strategies to cope.

This is therefore a good opportunity to record my thanks to the small number of individuals who voluntarily give up some time on a regular basis, whenever they can, to sweep paths, collect leaves, pull out weeds, cut back overgrown items etc., just like we would all want for our own gardens. Some I see, when walking through the churchyard and there are others I am sure that I have missed, but their efforts are visible and enjoyed by all. They are the reason it looks better than it might.

The two front flowerbeds each side of the north door path are another area where volunteers have taken on not only the winter planting but also the spring and summer work as well. They have also continued to tend to them on a rota basis. Their next proposal is to plant soon with poppies to flower over the summer to mark the start of First World War celebrations. If anybody would like to make a small donation towards the cost, specifically of this planting, this would be appreciated.

Are you able to help us in 2014 by giving up a small part of your time?

Perhaps you could join in just two of the four Saturday morning churchyard tidy up sessions planned for this year (1000 – 1300hrs), especially if you normally not available during the week? These mornings are set as 12th April (ready for Easter), 21st June, 13th September and 8th November (for Remembrance Sunday). Even coming along for an hour on any of the sessions will help. It is always a good opportunity to meet and talk with other church members, of all ages, over a break with refreshments. Reminders will appear in the pew slip a few weeks before each session.

Or, if you have more time available during the week, you are welcome to just come along occasionally as an individual and carryout out any tidying up items that you feel are required. Such tasks could include picking up fallen small tree branches, dead flowers/general litter or old wreaths – all of which makes it easier for the grass cutting contractor to do a better job for us. We also appreciate the help of volunteers to sweep paths, to carry out general weeding or helping to control some of the more invasive weeds we have. Some volunteers like to adopt a particular area. You will always have a lot of passers by stopping to talk with you!

If you would like further information about which specific item(s) to undertake or look after in the churchyard, then I am happy to meet with you, or talk to you on the telephone, at any time during the year. I can be contacted on 0121 711 1726. Alternatively, could you be part of the rota group that maintains the front flowerbeds? Please contact Anne on 0121 722 2274 for details.