GREEN CHURCH KERNOW
Some simple changes can make all the difference and we are gradually widening the scope of what we do.
For example we now offer Fair Trade tea and coffee to the congregation after services with the aim of registering as a Fair Trade Church in the future. The smell of delicious real coffee is encouraging more people to stay and chat and persuading some to consider buying Fair Trade for home use too.
Outside we are turning our attention to the care of the churchyard.
Have you ever wondered how old our churchyards could be? A quick look at the gravestones might suggest two or three hundred years but in reality they are a lot older than that. They have always surrounded the church building and may be much older than the existing structure, older even than the very first church constructed on that site.
Archaeological evidence suggests that the churchyard or God’s Acre in St Tudy has been there for as long as two thousand years or more.
Largely undisturbed it may be a microcosm of past natural habitat, plants and creatures. We are now seeking advice from experts in Living Churchyards about how to encourage the return of what may be rare plants and discussing with national tree experts the health of our many trees and shrubs.
FROM DALEKS TO COMPOST - GREEN CHURCH KERNOW
A lot can happen in a month and we have certainly been busy with visitors and gifts to help us protect and improve the environment around St Tudy and Michaelstow Churchyards and the local area.
In response to concerns from villagers in St Tudy we invited renowned international tree expert Keith Rushforth to do a health check on the Churchyard and Cemetery trees. His visit, paid for by the Diocese, was very encouraging.
He was pleased with the removal of dead and overhanging branches and felling a sycamore since his last visit two years ago.
This time there is no essential work required although he agreed several trees beside the school and School Lane could have overhanging branches cut back.
The camellias should be pruned after flowering next spring.
Our next visitor was Robert Moor, Co-ordinator of the Living Churchyard’s Scheme run by Cornwall Wildlife and the Diocese.
He was delighted by Michaelstow Churchyard as an example of good practice. Paths are cut through the grass which had been left to grow for wild flowers while the Bell Garden, where burials take place, is cut shorter, there are traditional compost bins and log piles left as habitat for wildlife.
He used that as an example of good practice and asked us not to cut grass lower than two – three inches while leaving it to longer in less used areas so that wild flowers may return and flourish.
He was shocked by the huge compost pile under the trees beside the Clink and urged removal because it is wrongly sited and does not compost the waste. We now plan to create a new compost area at the back of the church.
Meanwhile our free gifts from the Diocese Environment Team included three compost bins. One in the cemetery and another near the area where ashes are interred in the churchyard so that families may more easily dispose of previous floral tributes. The third was intended for Michaelstow but may be more appropriately located elsewhere. The bellringers thought the bins would make excellent Daleks if painted silver. We also have several water butts, an insect box, apple tree and wildflower seeds to plant.
St Tudy with Michaelstow PCC has recieved a Bronze Environmental Award from Green Church Kernow. It was presented during a special service in St Tudy Church at 11:05am on Sunday 4th November.
Afterwards there was an opportunity to chat to Luci Isaacson about her electric car which was charged at The Clink.