Worcestershire Campaign to Protect Rural England

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Best Kept Churchyard 2017

Tuesday, 29 May 2018 18:19

Part of the churchyard at Offenham Part of the churchyard at Offenham © CPRE

The 2017 churchyard competition confirmed the popularity of this biennial challenge both with regard to the number of churches that took part and the high standards achieved by the volunteers who work in the churchyards.

There were 33 entries (compared with 20 in 2015).

Although there are several factors involved in whether or not churches decide to enter, such as the availability and enthusiasm of volunteers, it is probable that CPRE’s decision in recent years to increase the value of the prizes has helped to encourage more churches to enter.


Winner 2013 2015 2017
Churchyards > an acre tree £75 plus tree £100 plus tree
Smaller churchyards   tree £50 plus tree £75 plus tree


Runners Up 2013 2015 2017
Churchyards > an acre nil £50 plus tree £60
Smaller churchyards  nil tree £75 plus tree



The first round lasted from 10th June to 16th July.

Each churchyard was marked by two judges out of a pool of 14. They could visit separately or in pairs and choose any day for their own convenience. As they tend to prefer fine days, the judging took place mostly in mid-June or early July.

The six churchyards with the highest marks in each group went on to the second round. This lasted from 10th to 26th August. All churchyards were judged by Marjorie Whiting (Chair WFWI) and Frank Hill (vice-Chair CPRE) so as to give consistency of marking. The northern churchyards were marked on 18th August, the southern on 21st August. As has been the case with all previous competitions, only the scores achieved in this second round were used to determine the winners and runners-up.


The winner of the group of churchyards of one acre or more was Bredon (St. Giles) with runners-up Astley (St. Peter’s) and Pebworth (St. Peter’s). The winner of the smaller churchyards was Bengeworth (St. Peter’s) with runner-up Offenham (St. Mary & St. Milburgh). The very high standard achieved this year is illustrated by the accompanying photograph, which shows part of the churchyard at Offenham.

Both winning churches held well-attended tree-planting events at which they provided enjoyable refreshments.

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