Churchyard

St James’ Churchyard is both, a place of beauty and tranquility (with huge value as a wildlife sanctuary), and also a much-valued place of burial for members of our village community. In recent years we have sought to expand the network of paths to facilitate access. It is maintained by church members and other volunteers, with a rota of mowers and weeders DSC_0040through the summer months and an annual clear-up day at which the fish and chips provided to all helpers never tasted so good!

Each summer we hold a ‘Blessing of the Graves’ service, and close to All Souls’ Day (2nd November) there is a service in Church at which all the recently departed are remembered by name.

Churchyards, and the placing of memorials, are governed by regulations set by each diocese (we are a part of Salisbury diocese.) A short guide to these is available as a leaflet which you can pick up from St James’ Church, and our vicar will be happy to discuss any questions you may have in this matter.

Below are some photos of our churchyard through the year.

December

The season of Advent brings a message of hope and consolation.

Now is the time to awake out of sleep, for the time of our deliverance is nearer than when we first believed.

Churchyard in December
The churchyard in January

January

Bare against the winter sky, our large Beech tree shows off its branches – soon to be hidden by new growth.

To him who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

February

February brings out the snowdrops and the first signs of new growth.

Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.

The churchyard in February
The churchyard in March

March

By March, the Dafodils are out, heralding the celebration of Easter.

Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast.

Christ is risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.

April

In April, the grass is starting to grow again.

He covers the heavens with clouds, he prepares rain for the earth, he makes grass grow upon the hills.

The churchyard in April
The churchyard in May

May

The colour has now changed to blue, as a mass of Bluebells covers the shady areas of the churchyard.

Come to me, all who labour and are heavey laden, and I will give you rest.

June

The grass which started to grow in April, is now getting quite long, and selected areas are strimmed to provide a variety of wildlife habitats.

If God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith?

The churchyard in June
The churchyard in July

July

A swarm of bees takes up residence, adding to the variety of insect life amongst the gravestones.

How sweet are thy words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

August

The summer sun brings warmth and light to the area to the north of the church.

For the Lord God is a sun and a shield; he bestows favour and honour.
No good thing does the Lord withold.

The churchyard in August
The churchyard in September

September

Early morning dew shows up on the cobwebs as autumn approches.

From the womb of the morning, like dew your youth will come to you.

October

As we celebrate our harvest, the churchyard produces a harvest of its own.

While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.

The churchyard in October
The churchyard in November

November

By late autumn, the trees are bare again and the path that was lined with dafodils in the spring is now covered with leaves.

The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there no torment shall touch them. In the eyes of the foolish, they seem to have died and their departure accounted to be their hurt.
But they are at peace.