Dalwood churchyard praised as a green sanctuary for people and wildlife.

PUBLISHED: 07:01 28 September 2019

St Peter's Church at Dalwood - highly commended. Picture Chris Carson

St Peter's Church at Dalwood - highly commended. Picture Chris Carson


St Peter’s Church at Dalwood has been praised by a leading countryside charity for making its churchyard such a welcoming place

It has won a highly commended award in the Devon's best churchyard competition run by the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

The organisation's Devon branch launched the contest last year to celebrate the pivotal role churches play in communities across the county, and the unique part churchyards play as green sanctuaries for wildlife and people.

All Saints at East Budleigh was named the 2019 winner at a prize-giving reception at Exeter Cathedral.

Awarding St Peter's, Dalwood, a highly commended prize judges said: "The welcome notice on the church door was both humorous and all-embracing. Promoting the CPRE competition caught the Judge's eye."

The notice stressed that everyone was welcome at St Peter's - old or young, whether super-rich or poor as a church mouse.

The prizes were awarded by the Bishop of Exeter, The Right Rev Robert Atwell, who chairs the Church of England's Rural Affairs Group.

Judge Ivan Buxton said: "We were really impressed this year by all the initiatives put in place by churchyards to encourage wildlife and biodiversity, including lots of bug hotels, a minibeast trail, vegetable and herb gardens, wildlife spotting survey forms and the creation of wildflower meadows. "

The welcome notice at Dalwood Church:

We extend a special welcome to all those who are single, married, widowed or divorced, of any sexual orientation, certain, confused, filthy rich, comfortable or dirt poor.

We extend a special welcome to those who are crying, new born, skinny as a rake or could afford to lose a few pounds (like our churchwarden).

We welcome you if you are new Dalwood, old Dalwood, or just passing by.

We welcome you if you can sing like Pavarotti, or can't carry a note in a bucket.

You're welcome here if you're just browsing, just woken up or just got out of prison.

We don't care if you are more Christian than the Archbishop of Canterbury, or haven't been in a church since little Jack's baptism.

We extend a special welcome to those who are over 60, but haven't grown up yet, and to teenagers who are growing up too fast.

We welcome keep-fit mums, football dads, starving artists, tree huggers, latte sippers, vegetarians and just junk food eaters.

We welcome those who are in recovery and those who are still addicted.

We welcome you if you are having a problem, or you're down in the dumps, or you don't like 'organised religion' - we've been there too.

We welcome you if you have blown all your money on the horses.

We welcome you if you think the world is flat, work too hard, don't work, can't spell or because Grandma is visiting and wanted to go to church.

We welcome you if you are tattooed, pierced, or both.

We welcome those who could use a prayer right now, had religion shoved down your throat as a child, or got separated from your coach party and wound up here by mistake.

We welcome tourists, seekers, doubters ... and YOU!!

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Midweek Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest from the Midweek Herald