Church Stretton: St Lawrence’s
About This Churchyard
Our aim is for St Laurence’s churchyard to be a sanctuary, an extension, if you like, of the building itself within and for the community. It has multiple uses: for peace and quiet (the benches are often occupied, especially on a sunny afternoon); as a wildlife haven; for access with many footpaths (one of the paths is a Public Right of Way); and as a backdrop for ceremonies like weddings.
The churchyard has not been officially ‘closed’. The additional burial ground in Cunnery Road was opened in 1870 and the ‘new’ cemetery in 1942; both are the responsibility of the Town Council.
A Churchyard Management Plan has been drawn up using Caring for God’s Acre guidelines. It tries to balance the multiple uses, with some areas kept mown and tidy; other areas are allowed to grow wilder. The churchyard is divided into four areas:
- grass regularly cut – along paths and the triangle to the south of the main church west entrance
- ‘bulb’ areas – regularly cut once bulb flowers have died back in mid-summer
- ‘meadow grass’ – left uncut until a single ‘hay-making cut’ in August
- ‘long grass’ – cut every other year in the autumn; when it is left uncut, it acts as a winter refuge particularly for invertebrates.
The flora is more diverse if tall grasses are prevented from becoming too dominant. So we are trying to reduce the fertility of the churchyard by removing grass clippings. The flora is surveyed most years; in 2019 a total of 126 vascular plants were identified.
A number of nest boxes have been installed in the churchyard. And during the recent repair and renovation of the roof, swift boxes were installed in the tower which we hope will soon be occupied.
A churchyard trail leaflet to explain features of interest is available in the church (which is open during daylight hours).
- Wildflower Areas
- Wildlife Haven
- Memorials with famous or infamous connections
- Stones with stories
- Fascinating monuments
- Lichen haven
- Peaceful space for quiet reflection
- Good accessibility
? Dog friendly (please keep on a lead)
? Suitable level access
? Parking available at the Parish Centre
? Toilets available at the Parish Centre
St Laurence’s Church, Church Street, Church Stretton, Shropshire, SY6 6DQ
The Churchyard is permanently open, the Church is open in daylight hours, and the Parish Office on weekday mornings.
Phone: 01694 724224.
Access via the main West gate on Church Street is level with no steps; most paths are tarmac, some are level grass.
Nearest toilets are in the Parish Centre, including accessible toilets.
Five benches in the churchyard.
Baby changing facilities are available in the Parish Centre.
Parking & transport
Parking available at the Parish Centre car park.
Nearest bus stop is 200 metres away.
Nearest station is 400 metres away in Church Stretton.
There is a choice of cafes available within 200m.
St Mary’s external links