Lawnmower is a real Godsend for church!

Volunteers at a rural church have been so impressed with their new high-tech lawnmower they have had it blessed!

By The Newsroom
Monday, 17th June 2013, 12:01 pm
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Though St Denis church in East Hatley is now redundant, the churchyard – a Country Wildlife Site still used for burials – is looked after by a team of local volunteers who have found the new mower to be a Godsend.

Local resident and volunteer Peter Mann said “Every year we’re faced with the problem of cutting long, often very wet, grass.

“Our rotary mowers are fine if the grass is dry and fairly short, but the recent wet summers have made cutting very difficult, particularly in August or September when the grass has grown extremely long and flopped over.

“We looked for alternatives and this new scythe mower, which cuts an inch or so off the ground near the base of the grass, is far more efficient and will make our job much easier.”

After a tidy up session around the building and graves in the churchyard last Sunday the lawn mower was blessed by the Reverend Steven Rothwell, Rector of Gamlingay and Hatley.

Reverend Rothwell said: “In seven years of rural ministry, this is the first lawnmower I’ve ever blessed!”

The volunteers manage the churchyard according to a carefully constructed management plan drawn up by South Cambridgeshire District Council, which owns the Grade II listed building that has not been used for worship for over 50 years.

The group, which is part of Gamlingay and Hatley Parochial Church Council, successfully applied for a community chest grant from the council to purchase the new lawnmower.

These small grants of up to £1,000 are available to voluntary and community sector groups and parish councils to help fund projects that benefit local people.

Councillor Ray Manning, Leader of South Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “This is a great example of how our easy-to-apply-for community chest grants make a 
direct impact in our communities.

“I’m delighted the local volunteer group is so pleased with the mower and that it will benefit both them and the ecology of the churchyard.”

To find out if your organisation is eligible for acommunity chest grant from South Cambridgeshire District Council, visit