Churchyards hold a special place in the heart of communities. They are potent symbols of community, and provide places for people to remember their loved ones and contemplate on the big questions of our lives. Many churchyards have existed for over a thousand years, and the wildlife that flourishes in them reflects this long and stable history.
The Nature of God's Acre project was developed to explore the relationship between the spiritual and natural value of churchyards. We approached a range of parishes within the Diocese of Chichester and asked them to tell us their views on their local churchyard, its wildlife and the way they valued it.
The Nature of God's Acre explores the results of that survey, looking at the type of nature that people like to see in their churchyards, and what the experience of that nature means to them on a personal and spiritual level. There is a section on each parish that took part in the survey, which describes the value of the churchyard and includes personal views from parishioners who expressed their feelings about what their churchyard meant to them.