Churchyards are special places. They often contain a rich diversity of plant and animal life, they are important places for archaeology and history, they often have distinctive and veteran trees and they provide a tranquil place for quiet reflection. The churchyard at St John’s Church in Hale is kept immaculate by a band of hardworking volunteers and their dedication is recognised and enjoyed by many.
Last year, a man wrote this letter to the Revd Alan Crawley, Joint Rector, and accompanied it with a bunch of flowers for a couple of our volunteers, “Since 2008, every four weeks on a Saturday I have driven past St John’s Church in Hale on my way from Kent to Hampshire. Without fail, come rain or shine, snow blizzard, fog or blustery gale, I am always amazed to see two people, …sweeping, cleaning, brushing, washing, collecting leaves and debris, unravelling and coiling extension cables, wheeling barrows and keeping the entrance to the church clean and tidy. Their hard work and dedication is a shining example and a credit to your community.”
The Mayor of Farnham, Cllr Jeremy Ricketts says, “It is always a pleasure to visit Hale Churchyard and see the inspirational work carried out by the volunteers. It brings community together in a fun, thoughtful and spiritual way. It represents the living heart of the Hale community for all to see and enjoy.”
The Revd Alan Crawley comments, “Often people ask me whether it is the best kept churchyard in Surrey. Of course, I don’t know. But I have been told that when the current team started maintaining the churchyard the grass was three feet high. The hours and they dedication they put into keeping it tidy is a credit to them and to us. My fear that the day they stop doing it we may find the grass three feet high again!”