Friends of St. Georges Churchyard Brinsworth
Village residents were complaining about the state of the churchyard. It was so neglected and ill-used the front half closed, but behind the church is still open for burials. A small group of volunteers formed to improve the area.
Our local church was decommissioned many years ago, a smaller church is now used. Even though the church is now a ruin, the area behind is still open for burials. It is situated at the entrance to the village, therefore every car, bus or pedestrian entering the village have to pass by the churchyard. It was not a very good first impression of our village.
We began by obtaining a grant from the borough to purchase gates and fencing, this helped to keep out vandals and people who were using the churchyard as a meeting place for various activities which had no right to be in a churchyard. These gates are opened and shut every single day of the year by two of our committee members.
Over the years, since 2011, we have sourced different funding to enable us to install flowerbeds, which are kept neat and tidy by our volunteers. Children from the local school help plant the bedding plants each summer. We have a clean up day each year when residents are invited to help clear leaves and debris from the churchyard, at this years cleanup we had approximately 40 bags of twigs and branches.
Our war memorial has been awarded National Heritage Status this year and this is the reason for this application. We also have a Boer War memorial which we are hoping to improve as our next project. We have included photo's of one of our monuments, which we have spruced up recently by cutting out all overgrown foliage and replacing chain work around the frame. We have installed a granite bench at the bottom of the churchyard, with funds from the Area Assembly and our own funds, and positioned another at the top with funds from a local borough councillor.
We have regular car boot and table top sales to help raise funds and apply for any small grants as and when they are available. We were recently successful in obtaining first prize of £5000 from the Tesco Bag Appeal, this is to relay the main pathway up to the back of the churchyard, which is at the moment just a grassy path.
How would this funding have an impact on your community?
This funding would have an impact on the whole of our community. It would improve the access to the War Memorial. At the moment it is just in the middle of a grassy area, which is totally inaccessible to disabled people and people in wheelchairs. On Armistice Sunday the weather is usually damp and wet, which makes the ground very slippery around the Memorial. The children from the local school attend with their head teacher to lay poppy crosses and are wary of slipping on the damp grass and villagers with mobility issues are unable to get right up to the memorial.
We wish to install shallow steps to make better access and flagstones around the base to enable residents to have better standing as they pay their respects. Before our group was formed very few people attended the yearly remembrance service, but now we have in excess of 200 people attend which makes the groups efforts very worthwhile. We are encouraged in our efforts by comments from village residents who indicate their appreciation of the improvements which have been made.
"Mrs. Pamela Gregory, Chairperson."