Explore The Church
Look up towards the top of the churchyard, to the left of the Pixley memorial (the Angel Tomb) and you will see a large meadow-like area leading up to the fields beyond. Some years ago, the present Rector David Shaw organised a community project to plant out the churchyard with daffodils. Great swathes of different varieties were planted by individuals, families, school classes, scouts and other groups, all planted in memory of someone or something. A lot of the planting was concentrated on this area, and because the different varieties blossom at different times (did you know there are around a dozen different types of daffodil with over 13,000 separate varieties?!), the area is a continuous blaze of yellow in springtime.
But as with so much else in life, attitudes towards death and dying are changing and nowadays not everyone wants a permanent reminder of their time on earth. therefore, it was decided to repurpose this area as a ‘natural churchyard’; consecrated ground for full burials and for the burial of ashes, but without any monuments. Burials are marked discretely with plates on oak posts, making it possible to locate the position where a loved one is buried.
Further planting took place as part of this project, including ornamental cherry and old Jersey varieties of apple trees, and wildflowers, which you will see in full bloom on the homepage of this website. They look absolutely stunning and are winning us favourable comments in the annual Parish in Bloom competition. A poppy bed was also planted in 2018, to remember the end of the First World War.
The whole area is carefully managed throughout the year, with some parts being left unmown to encourage bees and butterflies. Wooden benches were also added, enabling people to sit and experience the beauty of nature, including the views over to France, and to reflect.
St Clement’s Natural Churchyard is the first of its kind in Jersey, and at the time of writing is still the only one. It has become a welcome addition to our facilities, which have recently been further extended by a columbarium.