Burial grounds and churchyards have been around for centuries, and often form an integral part of a local community. Serving as a place to remember and commemorate loved ones, visiting a churchyard can be an emotional experience for many people. The responsibility of tending to burial grounds often falls to people who have inherited the role of previous generations.
Although an honor, this is a challenging job, which can take its toll both physically and mentally. Love Your Burial Ground Week was established to help those charged with the role of maintaining burial sites and to enforce the connection between churchyards and communities.
A helping hand for the custodians out there doing a magnificent job, Love Your Burial Ground Week also offers people the opportunity to learn more about the history of local churchyards and to get involved in activities that celebrate and showcase the heritage of burial sites.
History of Love Your Burial Ground Week
Love Your Burial Ground Week was formerly known as Cherishing Churchyards Week. The campaign was launched nine years ago, and since its inception, it has grown in stature, with events taking place in multiple locations.
The aim of this celebration was to provide support for those charged with the role of looking after burial grounds, but perhaps the most important element is tying the churchyard to the community.
Events were planned to enable local people to learn about the history of the burial ground, to appreciate the beauty of the setting and to get involved in the upkeep of the site. In the last decade, the number of events has increased, and the range of activities hosted by churches and local charities seems to diversify year on year.
Organizers hope to use Love Your Burial Ground Week to educate adults and children about the heritage of burial grounds and introduce them to the features that make them unique.
Many people don’t take the time to look around churchyards, and far from being spooky places that should be out of bounds after dark, they are often actually incredibly beautiful and serene spots.
How to celebrate Love Your Burial Ground Week
Have you ever taken a tour of your local churchyard or thought about what it takes to maintain a burial site packed with lichen-covered stones and historic monuments?
Perhaps this is an area that interests you, or maybe you’d like to do your bit to help out those in charge? Love Your Burial Ground Week is a chance to learn more about the history of your local area, to get to know new people and to explore churchyards with a fresh perspective.
Look out for events like history and nature trails, wildlife talks and child-friendly activities like picnics and mini beast and bug catching. If you catch wind of an event that turns your head, don’t forget to invite your friends along too!
For those who thought burial grounds were inaccessible spaces, this is a chance to explore, learn and maybe meet new friends along the way.