Devon’s Best Churchyard Competition launched

'A green sanctuary' - St Peter’s at Dalwood was highly commended in last year's Devon Best Churchyar

'A green sanctuary' - St Peter’s at Dalwood was highly commended in last year's Devon Best Churchyard Competition. Picture: Chris Carson - Credit: Archant

Dalwood will be hoping to go one better in this year’s Devon’s Best Churchyard competition.

The village's St Peter's Church was rated highly commended in the 2019 contest which is run by the Campaign for Rural England (CPRE).

Judges said it was 'a green sanctuary for people and wildlife'.

They were particularly impressed with the notice on the door which was 'both humorous and all-embracing.'

It reads: "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.

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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.

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"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!

The CPRE is inviting churches of all denominations to enter this year's contest. The deadline for entries is March 31. Full details and an entry form can be found at

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