Update from The Friends of Whitchurch Road Cemetery

We had an extremely busy year at the cemetery in 2023. Many thanks to Wem Rural Parish Council for kindly supporting us with a community grant, which helped us to make such amazing progress. It is hugely encouraging to our hard-working team to be supported in this way and your grant was put towards the cost of grass cutting during the year.

In February we commissioned Harriet Carty, of Caring for God’s Acre, to carry out a survey of the cemetery grounds and to advise us on how to increase biodiversity and reduce the carbon footprint.  We followed many of her suggestions and managed the grassland slightly differently during the year.  We cut the grass at a regular time interval but left it at mid length to allow shorter plants to flower. During the early part of the Summer we kept the grass longer at the back of the cemetery, we introduced ‘no mow May’ and, where possible, we cut paths to allow best access to the graves. We introduced a meadow area to the North of the site.  We also erected a dead-hedge, which incorporates a hedgehog house, and we installed bat and bird boxes. We are once again reviewing our grass management for 2024.

We were pleased to have been able to purchase a new WW1 commemorative bench, which we positioned near the cemetery chapel. We improved signage and repaired the rotting oak-framed interpretation panel. One of our volunteers completed the laborious task of painting the front railings, which are looking splendid.  In addition, the 200-metre perimeter fence had two full coats of wood protector. This was no mean task! We also worked hard to divide and dig the compost area and we provided some wonderful free compost to the community. The area now seems to be used responsibly with not too much evidence of plastic waste.

In May we applied to be considered for the 2023 Churchyard award scheme, run annually by the Diocese of Lichfield.  The results were announced at an event in Stafford in October. Everyone received either a bronze, silver or gold certificate and we were delighted be awarded gold and also a ‘nature friendly’ certificate.                  

During 2024 we hope to make further improvements to the cemetery.  We also hope to  open the chapel as often as possible – please look out for our notices, alternatively, please contact Judy Crichton on 01939 234489 or Hazel Adkins on 01939 235559 and we will be happy to arrange a chapel viewing.

We always need new volunteers for our group, please get in touch if you can help in any small way.

In May we applied to be considered for the 2023 Churchyard award scheme, run annually by the Diocese of Lichfield.  The results were announced at an event in Stafford in October. Everyone received either a bronze, silver or gold certificate and we were delighted be awarded gold and also a ‘nature friendly’ certificate.                  

During 2024 we hope to make further improvements to the cemetery. We also hope to  open the chapel as often as possible. Please contact Judy Crichton on 01939 234489 or Hazel Adkins on 01939 235559 to arrange a viewing.

We always need new volunteers, please get in touch if you can help in any way.

 

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