Community come together at St Mary’s

The churchyard at St Mary’s is managed as a wildlife area and crucial maintenance is carried out three times a year by volunteers of the Caring for God’s Acre charity. Ever since the church was established, this has involved periodically cutting the grass and uprooting tree saplings and brambles that would otherwise take over. This is the classic way in which hay meadows are managed; as we now have so few meadows, churchyards such as Billingsley are precious resources. Due to the lockdown, our Spring visit from Caring for Gods Acre had to be cancelled and it is unlikely that they will be able to come along any time soon.  Fortunately over the last week a team have come forward to cut back the grass and saplings and the transformation has been dramatic. as the before and after pictures show We are extremely grateful to everyone who has helped us; what has been particularly encouraging is how both church attenders and non-attenders have worked together to make this a real community project.  We also now have a photographic record of all the gravestones in the churchyard. Many thanks to Sam Leather for carrying this out. And the best news of all is that, thanks again to volunteer effort, we have been able to reopen the church for private prayer!

David Poyner

Photos show the gravestone of Eliza Mary (“Girlie”) Davies, died aged 7 in 1907, in Billingsley churchyard before and after grass cutting.