The Beautiful Burial Ground Conference

Caring for God’s Acre is organising a one day conference on managing churchyards. The Beautiful Burial Ground Conference will explore simple ways to use your churchyard to create a haven for wildlife, for heritage, and for people.

Saturday 28th September – 10-4pm at Thame Barns Centre, Thame, Oxfordshire

THAMES BARN POSTER EMAIL VERSIONThe day is aimed at everyone who cares about the management of burial grounds, and explore a range of themes including:

  • Caring for your grassland in a way that is sensitive to both wildlife and visitors
  • Involving people, raising funds and recruiting volunteers
  • Investigating, recording and conserving your burial ground and its stones
  • Writing brilliant new guides
  • Tree care – looking after your green monuments
  • and Case studies – incl. swifts, repairing walls & cemeteries

Places are limited – and booking is essential. Tickets cost £15 to include lunch & refreshments

To book complete the conference booking form – or contact Caring for God’s Acre 01588 673041 or email

The day will take place at Thame Barns Centre, Thame, Oxfordshire on Saturday 28th September – 10-4pm.

Poster: Contact Caring For God’s Acre for a printed version or download: POSTER PDF

Churchyard Action Pack

Even if you can’t go to the conference you may be interested in the new Churchyard and Burial Ground Action Pack from Caring for God’s Acre. The resource has a wealth of information to help with the sensitive management of your churchyard. There are guidelines on the management of wildlife habitats such as grassland and trees, and features such as lychgates, boundary walls and old stonework. It also includes information on how to involve others and how to make use of these places for learning and community activity.

It is available to buy or download from the Caring for God’s Acre website.

Cowley Deanery conservation project

This article first appeared in The Door July 2013 edition

AN Earthing Faith initiative to help congregations re-connect with nature has been launched in the Cowley deanery.

Andy with a feathered friend. The area, which is already renowned for the eco work done at St Mary and St John Churchyard, on the Cowley Road, is set to become the subject of a survey by A Rocha UK, a Christian environmental agency.

Dr Andy Gosler, (pictured right) a research lecturer in conservation and ornithology and a member of Holy Trinity, Headington Quarry, is the man behind the initiative. Andy has enlisted the help of local and national conservation and natural history groups. The scheme includes ringing robins so that children can identify them as individuals in churchyards and breakfast walks – early morning bird watching and wildlife walks in the deanery.

It is looking at a fungus survey in churchyards, looking at fungi and lichens that may have been growing for 800 or 900 years.

The Ashmolean Natural History Society, God’s Acre Foundation, Oxford Urban Wildlife Group and others are involved. “A Rocha wanted to set up an on-line system for recording nature in churchyards and wanted a couple of churches. I have offered them the whole deanery. They are looking at urban hubs, reconnecting urban situations with nature, and Oxford is the perfect place to test this,” said Andy, who is developing international links for the project and says it could spread from Cowley into other areas of the city. There is a lot that makes Cowley extremely suitable. There are significant areas of urban deprivation and problem areas. It’s exciting.”