The Bishop of Chester, Mark Tanner, was invited to "break the ground" of a new community garden at St. Andrew's, Grange.
The garden will be planted on the site of the old church hall and will be designed to help increase biodiversity in the area as well as provide a space for the local community to enjoy.
Speaking outside St Andrew's before breaking the ground, Bishop Mark said: "My hope is that I'll come back in a few years time and we'll hear laughter coming from this place, but not just laughter, also the church is here when life is really hard so we'll see folk sitting on the bench and taking a quiet moment. My prayer is that this is a gift for the community."
The Vicar of St Andrew's Grange, the Revd Emma Speake, said: "To care for God's creation and to encourage others to do so is a really important part of our discipleship and a really important part of my Christian faith."
Want some tips on transforming your churchyard?
In this online webinar as part of the diocesan series Explorers of Church Buildings, you'll hear from people in Partington on the outskirts of Manchester about how they transformed a neglected area of St Mary's churchyard into a spiritual reflection garden with biblically inspired planting. National charity Caring for God’s Acre will also be there to talk about their work supporting churches across the country to turn churchyards into havens for wildlife. Book on to the free webinar here.
Curate at St. Andrew's and member of the diocesan environment forum the Revd Debbie Dalby, says: "This piece of ground is a little bit unloved at the moment but the potential for local people to get involved and to have a space they can call their own is just tremendous. It's a perfect space for local people to come and see wildflowers take shape and really get a sense that nature can be right in the middle of quite an urban space."
Care for the environment is increasingly seen as a top priority and mission imperative in the Diocese of Chester. In February 2021, the diocese confirmed that it will aim to become an Eco-Diocese following a unanimous decision by Bishop's Council to agree to work towards that target, and throughout Lent in 2021, as part of a campaign focussing on the environment and God's creation, individuals from around the diocese are sharing their own personal stories about the small ways in which they are moved to cherish the gift of life.
The Revd Mike Loach, the co-chair of the environment forum and Vicar of Christ Church, Higher Bebington, says: "I've campaigned as a Christian environmentalist for many years and this has always been based on a very simple premise - that if we are to love God and love each other, then we are compelled to honour God's 'good' creation and the impact of our behaviour on brothers and sisters around the world. We cannot fulfill this great commandment of Jesus if we are apathetic about the climate crisis unfolding all around us."
For more about Lent and the environment go to: www.chester.anglican.org/Lent