gardens at churches (2014)

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undefinedVegetable gardens have been blooming in churchyards across the diocese this year. The congregation of St Peter's church, Macclesfield, have transformed a redundant car park and part of the church yard into a community garden.

Local residents were invited there in July and also got to sample an art exhibition with added activities for children and adults.

Through the Macclesfield garden, the church is developing links with Rossendale, a local residential community for people with learning disabilities.  Rossendale residents have been working in the garden once a week and plan to join St Peter’s congregation for their harvest festival on Sunday 12 October.  “This year we’re planning to cook a soup lunch using some of our garden produce which we can all enjoy after the service” said Julie Mullins, the parish coordinator.

And at St Mary’s church, Newton with Flowery Field, Vicar Annie Woodcock has been harvesting runner beans from the garden which she set up this spring. She said: “We are thrilled with the way the garden has taken off. The Brownies have grown tomatoes and beans and other local children and families are getting involved too.”

Annie secured a grant to cover the initial outlay, but children in the congregation have raised enough funds to cover the cost of seed for next year by selling produce grown this summer.

“New potatoes, cabbages, tomatoes and beans were all quickly snapped up by members of the congregation who loved the fresh veg and helped us to raise £50 to buy seed for next spring, ” said the Vicar.

Above - young Tilly Hutchinson makes a bug hotel at St Peter’s open garden, Macclesfield

Below - the Revd Annie Woodcock picking beans from the church garden at St Mary’s, Newton