August 2024

Wow! How beautifully diverse is nature in miniature in the churchyard.


Living locally to us all is the Chair of Gloucester Naturalist Society, Juliet Bailey, and a real expert in English moths, Steve French. And there is a wealth of interest locally in the nature we find in our ancient churchyards. Jim and Holly Chapman arranged at Hartpury churchyard and pasture a wonderful nature day in July. Jim writes:

For over 1000 years Hartpury’s villagers have been laid to rest in our churchyard – a place of memories and peaceful reflection, with ancient monuments and gravestones, some possibly needing repair. This long and stable management has produced enormously important havens for an amazing variety of wildlife. So many different habitats, from trees and hedges, stone walls and gravestones, grass of varying lengths, and the occasional patches of bramble, nettle and ivy, all suiting different species. The challenge is to respect these different uses, working with - not against - nature.

          On Saturday 6th July Hartpury churchyard hosted its first ecology event. Due to the wind and rain, we found fewer insects than normal, but even so identified 55 different moths. Not many wildflowers, but many different grasses, 48 different mosses and liverworts, and an amazing 76 lichens, including a national rarity at the top of the tower!

          I would like to thank those who helped us see our Hartpury churchyard in miniature in July; the gravestones, each type of stone attracting a different lichen (pronounced ‘l-eye-ken’). When seen under a special magnifying eye-glass they become truly beautiful. And we have an amazing collection of moths, all a bit dozy in the morning, some twig like, others multi-coloured. In the pasture there are wild grasses galore. The churchyard is now seen by those who came completely differently as a diverse natural resource. This is why we allow areas of our churchyards to grow wild in the first half year.

          Jim and Holly are happy to lend their natural churchyard information boards to similar days at any of our churchyards. Can you organise another church to take up the eco church challenge? Please talk to me or the Chapmans. Hopefully we can ask again members of the Gloucestershire Naturalist Society to help us see the churchyard through new eyes.


Services in August

In August to simplify holiday arrangements we have two services a Sunday. On the 7th September we are holding a united Benefice Service at Maisemore Church. From this month onwards we shall hold a united Benefice service on the first Sunday of each month (rather than on a fifth Sunday).

PCC members meeting Bishop Robert

Every member on our seven PCCs are asked to meet with Bishop Robert on Tuesday 7th September 7pm at Hartpury Church. We shall share a Communion and have a cross Benefice discussion with Bishop Robert about issues we face in ministry. Bishop Robert is currently visiting parishes and benefices across our Deanery.

In our prayers…

Revd Jean Herrick who has had a fall and broken two ribs. And Revd Alan Davies who is seriously ill. They are both very much in our prayers.

Wedding in August

Saturday 10th August at 2.30pm Ashleworth Church, the wedding of Steffanie Evans and Kyle England. We offer our congratulations.


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