Caring for God’s Acre works nationally to support groups and individuals to investigate, care for, and enjoy burial grounds.
How we began
We began as a small Shropshire based initiative in 1997 after being inspired by the National Living Churchyard and Cemetery Project (LCCP). The LCCP was set up in 1985 by English Nature and the Council for the Care of Churches – the first scheme to promote the conservation of burial sites in the UK. Managed by Eve Dennis, the project supported County Wildlife Trusts and other organisations to establish their own Living Churchyard Projects – some of which still operate to this day. The original LCCP came to an end through lack of funding around 2000. At this time Eve contacted us to ask if we would take forward the national role of promoting the conservation of burial sites.
We agreed and changed our charitable objectives so that we could work nationally.
Why we do this work
There are over 20,000 burial grounds in England and Wales, ranging from small rural medieval churchyards to large Victorian city cemeteries, spanning different cultures, religions and centuries.
These sites encapsulate the history of communities, whilst offering much needed refuge for our native wildlife. For many people their local burial ground is the only accessible green space. But the heritage value of burial grounds, and even their continuing presence, cannot be taken for granted. They are under threat from development, closure, under management and mismanagement.
We work to keep burial grounds beautiful, accessible and connected to communities.
The Charity is governed by nine experienced Trustees. We have seven members of staff; three working on core activities and four working on projects. We are also lucky enough to have many dedicated volunteers undertaking tasks ranging from botanical recording, conservation work in burial grounds and helping spread the word by giving talks.