Churchyard Restoration Project

Radcliffe Litter Pickers help restore the churchyard at Radcliffe Parish Church.

During spring 2021 Radcliffe Litter Pickers were contacted by Vicky Bridge, the church warden, to ask if we had any volunteers who could help to tidy and restore their churchyard. It had sadly become overgrown and neglected due to a lack of funding and members of the congregation not able to carry out the heavy work needed.

We put a request on social media and the response was fantastic. At the first meeting we got over 30 volunteers from various local community groups, all working under the Radcliffe ‘Growing Together’ umbrella.

In May 2021 we faced a daunting task: the grass was waist high, and if you are familiar with the churchyard, you will know its size, it’s enormous!

Some 8 months later the transformation is astonishing, and we are now carrying out garden maintenance and moving on to the ‘interesting work’. Under the guidance of Carol Kemp, local historian and archaeologist, plus expert members of the congregation, we are clearing cleaning, and uncovering graves; we recently uncovered one dated 1682 that had been lost for at least 20 years.

The stories around these people’s burials are fascinating and tinged with sadness, but are a poignant reminder of Radcliffe’s past and should not be forgotten.

This area of Radcliffe, which includes the church, manor (tower) and tithe barn, all of which are listed buildings, has a rich history dating back to over 1000 years. It was once the centre of Radcliffe and was a royal hunting ground.

Our task is not yet complete because it is an ongoing project and we welcome anyone who would like to help with any job, or even just visit and take a look around. We meet on the first Sunday of each month.

Radcliffe Litter Pickers, Growing Together, and Radcliffe Parish Church are each on social media, so please do contact us for more information on this project and other volunteering opportunities in Radcliffe.

Facebook; Radcliffe Litter Pickers, Growing Together Radcliffe, Parish Church of St Mary.

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