About Us

Vision, Values and Mission 

Caring for God’s Acre’s vision is for Churchyards and Burial sites within the British Isles to be valued now and for the future. 

We value churchyards and burial grounds for their importance to people and our history and wildlife.  

Our mission is to champion the conservation of churchyards and burial sites across the British Isles

President

HRH The Prince of Wales

Patrons

Sir Roy Strong

Prof David Bellamy OBE

Lawrence Banks CBE

 

History

Caring for God’s Acre’s began as a pilot scheme in the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1997. In May 2000 it became an independent charity, extending its geographical area to cover the Diocese of Hereford. 

Due to demand for its support CfGA amended the constitution in 2008 to allow work outside the Hereford Diocese. It also extended its remit, continuing with its initial focus on nature conservation within churchyards and burial grounds, but also developing a commitment to lifelong learning, and a greater understanding of the built environment, and of the role of churchyards in tourism. 

This inclusive approach to the conservation and enhancement of churchyards and burial grounds has encouraged local interest groups such as schools, history and wildlife groups, and individuals to become involved in community projects based on these sites. 

Caring for God’s Acre is unique in terms of the focus and remit of its work.

 

Achievements 

For a small organisation (4 paid part time workers) we are very effective: 

CfGA is the only organisation in the UKto solely focus on the conservation of churchyards and burial grounds. 

  • We have helped small local communities bring in over £250,000 towards their own churchyard conservation projects. 
  • We have directly helped over 160 local groups in managing their churchyards.
  • We have raised the profile of the importance of churchyards and burial grounds on a local and national level. 
  • We organised a successful two day national conference entitled ‘Cherishing Churchyards’ with Prof David Bellamy OBE as key speaker. 
  • We have featured on national television and in national magazines. 
  • Over 4000 people have attended our training days and workshops in the past 8 years. 
  • We run a ‘Churchyard Task Team’ volunteer programme, where over 12,000 hours of conservation work has taken place by over 250 volunteers in churchyards. 
  • We hold activities, bus tours and exhibitions that have so far been attended by over 3000 people, many from under-represented groups. 
  • We support other churchyard and burial ground projects across the UK (e.g. Wrexham Sacred Spaces Project, Gwent Living Churchyard Project, Flintshire Living Churchyard Project).

 

A few of Caring for God’s Acre’s funded Projects

(Project evaluation reports available on request) 

A 3 year Heritage Lottery funded “Lifelong Learning Project” provided learning opportunities, targeting professional groups and individuals. (2003-2006) 

A 3 year Defra and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation funded “Rural Heritage Project” worked with communities to raise interest in the wildlife and built heritage in local churchyards and burial grounds. (2005-2008) 

A 1 year Local Heritage Initiative funded “Mow a Meadow” Project, developed awareness of and techniques for enhanced grassland management for conservation. (2007) 

A 5 year Churchyard Task Team Project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (2007-2012). The project recruited, developed and managed a team of volunteers to carry out tasks in churchyards, such as dry stone and lime mortared walling, hedge-laying and many other conservation tasks. 

A successful bid to Shropshire Hills LEADER is funding a 3 year ‘Sacred Spaces through the Ages’ project. 

A successful bid to Herefordshire LEADER is funding the production of a special leaflet. 

In May 2012 a grant of £409,000 was awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund for a 4 year National Project of CfGA, which is supporting people with churchyard and burial ground care across England and Wales.

 

Staff 

Sue Cooper, Manager of Caring for God's Acre

Andrea Gilpin, National Project Manager

Harriet Carty, National Project Manager 

Ferol Richards, Administrator

 

Trustees

Julian Remfry (Chairman)

Colin Wright (Vice-chair)

Keith Wilson (Treasurer)

Lisette Davies (Hon Secretary)

Anni Holden

Gillian Binks

Dr Yolande Heslop-Harrison

Sheila Spence

Dr Ian Dormor

Michael Whithouse

Oliver Goode

Culain Morris

Dr Paul Scott

 

Click on the links below for more information about Caring for God's Acre

Annual Report and Accounts 2012  Annual Report and Accounts 2013

   

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