A country churchyard which has led the way in conservation practices for almost a quarter of a century will be welcoming school children, disability charities and community groups to discover more as part of the annual Cherishing Churchyards week next month.
St. John’s Church, Sharow near Ripon is set in an award winning conservation area of more than two acres and for the past 25 years it has been managed by conservation volunteers resulting in an award-winning sanctuary for rare species of plant life, animals and insects.
This year, the church is hoping to attain its first Eco-Church award and will be taking part in the national Cherishing Churchyards week from June 3-11, a national fronted by the Prince of Wales.
The church’s Heritage Learning Officer, Joe Priestley, will be working with local primary schools, disability charities and community groups to open up the churchyard to new audiences and the week will culminate in a celebratory open day and tea party on Saturday 10th June from 2-4pm, hosted by St John’s newly arrived parish priest, Revd Ruth Newton.
Ruth said, “Respecting and caring for the world God created is an important part of the Church’s mission, this is why we are working towards eco-church status. One of the cornerstones of this is how we manage our Churchyard in ways that increase bio-diversity. This is something to celebrate and share with the whole community.
“I am particularly excited about the work being done with children, which will both encourage their engagement with creation and build an appreciation of the heritage which is on their doorstep.”