A renewed churchyard for St Nicholas, Newchurch

Volunteers work on rebuilding dry stone walls at St Nicholas Church,

Heritage Grants

North West
PCC of St Nicholas, Newchurch
£38300
The community have come together to revitalise a historic churchyard in Rossendale, Lancashire and boost local wildlife.

In 2019, Grade II* listed St Nicholas Church, Newchurch received a £38,300 grant to restore its churchyard.

A survey of the churchyard’s monuments, graves and outbuildings have guided the repair work and longer term care.

Volunteers work on the churchyard's monuments and woodland
Volunteers work on the churchyard's monuments and woodland

“It’s strengthened our connection with the local community and helped us to care for our heritage in the long term."

Rachael Gildert, Secretary of Valley Heritage

Volunteers have learned new skills so they can care for its dry stone walls. 120 people have taken part in an ecological survey showing the church how to better support local nature and wildlife.

Woodland management classes are helping volunteers care for this nature, whilst bat walks and a nature trail have become popular activities. Sixty school children have taken part in churchyard-inspired creative sessions.

Boosting people's wellbeing

Rachael Gildert, Secretary of project partners Valley Heritage, said: “It’s strengthened our connection with the local community and helped us to care for our heritage in the long term.

“It has also boosted people’s wellbeing during a difficult year. One of the dry stone walling volunteers has spent much of his lockdown furlough repairing other dry stone walls in Newchurch; I imagine much to the joy of the farmers!”

The community have been kept updated through leaflet distributions, the church’s website and the social media antics of the Vicars’ dog, ‘Heritage Hound’. The project is due to complete in late 2021.

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