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Prayers, pheasants and foodbanks

by Michael Ford last modified 19 Jun, 2020 10:39 PM

While our churches may have been closed, our churchyards have become places of sanctuary for us and for the wildlife.

Our Local Prayer Spaces initiative means many of our churchyards now have dedicated spaces where people can go for private prayer.

This has proved popular, especially for churches who have found it hard to open their buildings due to the restrictions.

But as well as providing this prayerful space for us, our churchyards in this Eco Diocese have been been a real haven for wildlife.

Diane Benjamin, from St Giles' Chideock wrote about how their award winning space has flourished in lockdown:

"The Churchyard of St Giles competed for many years in the joint Diocese and Dorset Wildlife Trust conservation initiative, winning gold medals in the last 2 years of the scheme (2017-18). It is still maintained with 'wildlife in mind'.

"This year the wildflower area has been prolific and has also hosted a mother pheasant and her 5 chicks."

But it isn't just the churchyard that has proved a source of hope for this Dorset church:

"Although our churches have been closed since the lockdown, St Giles in Chideock has kept its porch open.

Prayers, pheasants and foodbanks- Chideock's foodbank basket

"This place has been one where messages can be left for church members, with the newsletter if they do not already receive this.

"Also for anyone to leave items for the Foodbank, and collections are taken to Bridport each Wednesday morning.

"The basket has never been empty, for which I am most grateful."

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