DEAD SPACE TO LIVING PLACE – THE TRANSFORMATION OF BERKHAMSTED’S RECTORY LANE CEMETERY
Our main job at the Support4Dacorum Volunteer Centre is to support local charities and community groups. Each week, we like to highlight and promote the work of one of these groups. This week, we are looking at the Friends of St Peter’s Great Berkhamsted and their Rectory Lane Cemetery Project!
With all events and activities cancelled, the volunteer guides and hosts for the Friends of St Peter’s have not been active, but their community project, Dead Space to Living Place, has been progressing the landscaping works over the last few months to ensure it is ready for when they can welcome visitors in again – with new accessible paths, seating, and a contemporary Garden of Remembrance. Their volunteers have been working in small parties around the three-acre site to ensure it looks its best for the public – mowing and strimming, picking up fallen branches, raking and generally tidying up. Other volunteers have finished building The Retreat – an architect designed facility for volunteers to be based on site, cosy even in the winter months.
Like other organisations, the Friends of St Peter’s have also turned to virtual delivery – completing and publishing their new website www.rectorylanecemetery.org.uk and populating it with over 400 biographies researched by their volunteer genealogists.
The Friends of St Peter’s are now looking forward to holding their first, small, bookable public events as part of the forthcoming Heritage Open Days (11 – 20 September). Be one of the first to see beyond the closed gates of the Cemetery, which has undergone a £1m National Lottery Heritage Funded transformation over the last three years and book your place. Tours will be lead by the Project Manager and the Community Engagement Officer. Children are welcome with an accompanying adult and will enjoy the space. As numbers are limited, all of the tours in September have now been fully booked. However, some new dates in October are to be announced soon! Please check https://www.rectorylanecemetery.org.uk/news/heritage2020/ for the announcement of new dates.