A CHURCHYARD is being given a new lease of life, thanks to a group dedicated to its maintenance.
The Friends of St George’s Churchyard in Brinsworth are on a mission to tidy up the site and have been given a cash boost by a leading supermarket chain.
The group, which has around 12 members, has been awarded the £5,000 first prize in the Tesco Plastic Bag Scheme which raises cash for good causes.
On Saturday (April 29), the Friends will be meeting for their annual clean up day at the church to carry out tasks such as picking up litter.
Chairperson Pam Gregory said: “The Friends began in 2011 with help from the local area assembly.
“The church was in disrepair but the churchyard itself was shocking. We formed this group to do something about it.
“We have done a lot over the last few years.
“Every year we have a clean-up day with volunteers from the village, and we also hold table top sales, coffee mornings and so on, and receive donations.”
The group also held a table top sale last Saturday (Apr 21).
Children regularly plant flowers in the churchyard to add colour and the number of burials has increased since the Friends have begun keeping the site in good order, Mrs Gregory said.
Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative is a local community grant scheme where the money raised from the 5p bag charge is used to fund thousands of local projects across the UK.
People use special tokens to vote for a schemes in their areas which then gain funding.
Mrs Gregory said that the £5,000 grant would be put to good use improving a stretch of overgrown pathway outside the church, which was built in 1895 but closed in 1974.
Tesco corporate affairs manager for the North of England, Mark Thomas, said: “We’re delighted that our Bags of Help grants are supporting community projects across Rotherham.
“Making the pathway at St George’s Church accessible once again will open up a meaningful place for all to visit and provide volunteering opportunities that can help people locally.
“Our customers voted to choose their favourite projects and I’d like to thank them for taking the time to do so.”