The Churchyard’s main purpose is for the reverent burial of parishioners. It is open to the community, accessible to walkers and provides access to the Village Hall. The south lawns are used for fetes and for taking Wedding and Baptismal photographs.
Churchyards are part of our Christian heritage. Any memorial should be sensitive to its surroundings, be in harmony with those around it and with the churchyard. No one memorial should spoil the general appearance of the Churchyard. Grave space must have formal approval and following a burial, the bereaved should discuss the form of a temporary memorial with the Rector. A year after the interment, the grave should be levelled and an application should be made to the Rector for a permanent memorial, as permitted by the Diocesan regulations. Memorials include headstones and become the responsibility of those who erect them. An application to the PCC is required for seats and benches but at present permission may not be granted as no further seating is needed.
Those tending graves are expected to comply with the Hereford Diocesan Churchyard regulations.
We welcome responsible owners who keep their dogs under control.
The Herefordshire Council Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) for dog control requires that persons in charge of a dog, except for assistance or working dogs, remove faeces deposited by the dog where the public have access. This includes our memorial, burial ground and garden of remembrance. Please pick up after your dog and put in the bin by the MacLean War Memorial. Failure to pick up your dog’s faeces could result in a fixed penalty notice of £100 or a fine up to £1000.
In 2018 some large cypress trees were removed from the Churchyard, revealing magnificent views of the AONB towards the Malvern Hills and restoring light to the northern Churchyard. As part of this work, guidance from Caring for God’s Acre (CfGA) was followed and a bank mown to encourage a spring wildflower meadow. The results were encouraging and support from the Malvern AONB has enabled the creation of a summer wildflower hay meadow for 2019, directly behind the Church. To encourage parishioners to enjoy this new space a tree stump will be converted into a sitting and picnic area.
Most maintenance is done by volunteers - we have a team of 30 who cut the south lawns and there are working parties on the mornings of the second Saturdays in the winter months.
The grass around the memorials in the north part of the Churchyard is mown regularly, but this is very expensive. In 2017 this grass cutting cost the Church over £3,500. To continue this upkeep we need help and are very grateful for any donations. Gifts can be left in the wall safe, just inside the main door of the Church.
The Remembrance Garden by the Church porch is maintained by Cradley C.E. primary School Gardening Club
The rose garden ‘Love and Marriage’ opposite the Church porch is sponsored by the Mothers’ Union
The Churchyard features four common yews and two Irish yews. The oldest common yew is over 960 years old
To replace felled trees a ‘Holy Thorn’ tree has been planted in the north churchyard,recalling Cradley’s connection with the Glastonbury legend. See the stained-glass window by the pulpit for more information.
Parking is available on Rectory lane, or for Church services and Village Hall events in the Glebe land field by the MacLean War Memorial.
The Church is within the Cradley Conservation Zone and the Malvern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
The Village Hall Heritage Centre publishes walks around Cradley. Facilities are available in the Village Hall, when it is open..
The Geopark Way from Abberley through the Malvern Hills runs nearby.
The Herefordshire & Worcestershire Earth Heritage Trust sponsors a display inside the Church.
There are leaflets at the back of the Church describing the Church, the windows, and the symbolic significance of the planting of the flower beds..
If you would like to comment on the Churchyard please write in the visitors’ book found in church or contact any member of the PCC or Churchyard Committee.