David Chappell wrote:-
The morning dawned dry and sunny, which was such a blessing following two days of heavy rainfall. First to arrive was the Revd. Phyllis, who opened the Church, followed closely by the caterers; an army marches on its stomach!
Volunteers started arriving shortly after that and by the time they had all arrived we numbered 29 willing helpers. Everybody worked hard and cheerfully, including a family of eight, with the youngest still in a wheelchair. It is a little unfair to pick out anybody individually; but I would like to mention Sharon O’Reilly, who does the bird ringing and recording. She is not even from this Parish, but was raking up and disposing of hay along with the best of them
Also it was good to welcome back Paul Stapleton, who has drawn up a list of over 130 plants growing in the Churchyard, and the number is still increasing. My thanks also go to our two priests Caroline and Anne, who despite having travelled from Southampton to take part, lead from the front. Caroline, along with Josh cleaned out the drainage gully round the Church. Anne organized the children and their parents picking up litter and dead flowers from round the graves. The rest of enthusiastic band completed tasks that included raking up and disposing of hay, removing ivy from the yew trees and headstones, building a dry wildlife hedge from lopped overhanging branches; and hedge cutting and tidying.
There was interest in a display of some of the birds that have been ringed and recorded in the Churchyard, along with some of the more colourful plants. The food was greatly appreciated and deserved; grateful thanks to the providers and caterers. Perhaps the greatest measure of the success of the day, was the request from a number of volunteers to know when the next working party is to be!