Serving God, Serving our Community

Do you walk through the Church yard and enjoy its beauty?

Do you visit the Burial ground in Mill Lane and appreciate the tranquillity?

Perhaps you can help with a new initiative- FOSMOS?
So what is FOSMOS?

Friends of St Mary’s Open Spaces, (FOSMOS) is a new group which will be trying to enhance and maintain the open spaces controlled by the Church, the Churchyard itself around the Church and the Burial ground on Mill Lane.

What currently happens?

In the recent past a member of the Church has ensured that the approach to the Church has been properly looked after. However because of changing circumstances this arrangement has come to a natural end and the Church is looking at how we can maintain an attractive and beautiful setting for the Church and for those who have the ashes of relatives buried in the memorial garden, all of which needs regular mowing in the summer.

We are extremely grateful to Paul Hope for putting his sheep in the two fenced areas around the Church. This not only adds to the character of our Churchyard, but helps to keep the grass manageable. But both in these paddocks and elsewhere in the Churchyard there needs to be some occasional maintenance, strimming, hedge cutting and path clearing, as well as enhancing the habitats for wildlife.

Down at the Burial ground, we are trying to achieve several things, to keep an area tidy and well maintained for burials and to tidy an area with older graves a couple of times a year and to leave the right hand side of the burial ground a wild flower area. A contractor is paid a modest fee to cut the hedges and to cut down the wild flower area once a year and … payment is made to keep the grass around the graves cut? However that still leaves strimming cutting back around the seating areas and clearing of the paths and this has been done by occasional working groups.

What we would like to do.

We would like to encourage a wider group of interested people, those who walk through the churchyard, those who live next to our open spaces, have ashes or family members buried there, those interested in encouraging wildlife or are just prepared to help, to sign up as members of FOSMOS. This will allow us to keep your details and get in touch with you when there is a maintenance working party, or over the regular tasks such as grass cutting which will need to be done. But if you can’t help when the working party is happening you might say, ‘Don’t worry about …., I’ll do it later in the week, or whenever….’. It will also be a route if you see something you are not happy with and want to do something about, you can get in touch with FOSMOS and say ‘I noticed this … and I’d like to…., is that OK?’

If however you feel that strimming, path cleaning or even trimming a plant or two, is more than you are physically able to do, then you could contribute financially, although we are not primarily looking for money, but any financial assistance would be restricted and only be used to maintain the Churchyard and Burial grounds.

So, how do I become a member of FOSMOS?
Just complete a simple form, either on the website, here, or in the parish magazine and leave in Church, hand to John Stansfeld, James Highwood or Joanna Beech or email to

We’re not looking for a huge input from anyone, just an hour or two a couple of times a year would make a huge difference.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you!