Last week we had a very pleasant day visiting churches in the south of Buckinghamshire and Slough. It was interesting to see what havens of peace, flora and fauna churchyards can be, especially in urban settings. They must play an important role in our perception of the quality of our towns. At St Mary’s in Slough the churchyard is still filled with graves but it is a large and peaceful place, as is the ancient St Laurence’s just down the road at Upton-cum-Chalvey.There is an interesting project called Living Churchyards where the participants maintain their areas as oases for wildlife. http://www.arcworld.org/projects.asp?projectID=271
At Langley Marish Church as we entered the churchyard we heard chirping from the wall and realised that birds were nesting in the wall itself.
We also visited rural churches including the beautifully renovated Hitcham, quaint Dorney and Stoke Poges, where we ate our lunch and visited the Thomas Gray memorial. Thomas Gray stayed nearby and may have written his ‘Elegy written in a country churchyard’ here, although there are other contenders.
An unusual but delightful day in lovely warm weather.