Volunteers turn out to tidy Ross-on-Wye Churchyard

By Ross Gazette reporter in Community News

Recently volunteers started to tackle the long grass at the far end of the churchyard at St Mary’s.

The group meets regularly to try to maintain areas of the churchyard which the contractors, who are paid to cut the grass may have missed, or in the recent warm and wet weather, has grown more quickly.

There are a number of volunteers who give their time up to work in the churchyard, the working party meets once a month (some volunteers go each week) to gradually get the churchyard grass under control.

Ross Town Council has a legal obligation to maintain some of the churchyard (the closed churchyard which is mainly that which is closest to St Mary’s), however with changing budgets and increasing responsibilities of the council they are not able to maintain the whole churchyard. The cutting of the grass in the open churchyard is the responsibility of St Mary’s Church. However, the church is struggling to balance the books, they are running at a deficit this year and there is no spare money to pay for extra grass cutting. 

The Reverend Sarah Jones told the Ross Gazette:?“St Mary’s is recognised as contributing greatly to the town and as our ministers are available to anyone in need or indeed anyone who asks for help, there is a fair amount of goodwill towards us. With this in mind we appealed for help to the residents of the town. It took some time but we eventually got a number of volunteers to be part of churchyard working groups and we have also engaged a contractor to cut the grass at our expense. In addition, some people have also sent us donations to help to pay for the cutting.”

 Sarah added that anyone who would like to come along would be made most welcome. Some people come for an hour whilst others are able to stay for the morning. Alternatively, some people have volunteered to look after a specific part of the churchyard (sometimes near their family graves) and come each month at a time to suit themselves.”

The church is also trying to organise more finances in order to pay for more frequent cutting.

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