God's Acre Project
As we know, the market towns, villages and small hamlets are the heart of the Lincolnshire Wolds communities, with most of them having either a church or chapel as not only a place of worship and community space but also as a refuge from the day to day hustle and bustle.
Churchyards and cemeteries can provide a variety of habitats, supporting a wide range of species. Many older churchyards contain grassland which is the remnant of ancient meadows, supporting species lost or in decline in the surrounding countryside. The church and associated buildings itself may contain roosting or breeding sites for bats, swifts and barn owls, whilst the stone of the church, headstones and memorials often support a rich diversity of lichen, liverwort, moss and fern flora. Mature trees are often found within the site or form part of the boundary, many of which are specimen yew trees.
The God's Acre Project continues to work with church community groups in helping develop projects. This has often involved providing advice and practical help in managing churchyards for wildlife, providing notice boards to keep residents and visitors alike informed of community activities, or benches so people can have a sit down and watch the world go by. The following factsheet gives advice and contact details for managing Lincolnshire churchyards. Further advice and information is available from the Caring for God's Acre Project based in Hereford Diocese, which inspired the Lincolnshire God's Acre Project.
Other work has included the production of the ‘Ritual and Religion of the Lincolnshire Wolds' leaflet and the provision of God's Acre Activity Rucksacks for primary schools and churches. The Rucksacks include lots of exciting things to use, such as magnifying glasses and bug pots, along with the activity pack itself. This guides you round the churchyard, helping to find out lots of interesting facts about trees, minibeasts, archaeology, geology and lichens – the crusty bits on the gravestones!
The rucksacks are available to use at God's Acre churches in the Wolds and the activity pack is available to download:
All we ask is that you let us know what you think by filling in the feedback form and sending it back to us.
The following churches have participated in this project and all have a rucksack to use - this may be either kept at the church or with a church warden.
St Andrew's, Utterby
St Martin's, Welton le Wold
All Saints, South Elkington
St Leonard's, South Ormsby
St Mary's, Tetford
St Margaret's, Somersby
St Philip's, Brinkhill
St Mary's, Harrington
St Leonards's, Haugh
St Olave's, Ruckland
St Margaret's, Bag Enderby
St Peter's, Farforth
St Micheal's, Burwell
St John the Bapist, Nettleton
All Saints, Oxcombe
All Saints, Walesby
St Mary's, Fotherby
St Peter and St Paul's, Langton-by-Spilsby
St Mary's, Claxby
St Mary's, Thoresway
St Martin's, Scamblesby
St Mary's, Ludborough
St Andrew's, Stewton
St Vedast's, Tathwell
All Saints, Haugham
St Peter and St Paul's, Belchford
All Saints, Mareham on the Hill
For more information on the God's Acre Project, please contact:
Helen Gamble, Project Officer, 01522 555785 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
This project was supported through the Lincolnshire Wolds Sustainable Development Fund.