The Polish Church Garden Project
A project to rejuvenate and maintain the Polish Church Memorial Garden has achieved its original goals although there are still opportunities to get involved.
What were the plans?
Based on this survey and the input from WoTHabs members and others, the Village Plan recommended “this area should be a quiet place for relaxation and remembrance of the church and those who worshipped there. It should also be a place for wildlife. The area should be kept as grass, and allowed to grow and flower with paths mown short (similar to the approach for the maze area). A base/outline for the church should be created, with seating and a plaque commemorating the church”.
The church itself is remembered with a base/footprint on the original plot of
the church with seating, planting areas and a cross. Early in 2024, an
information board will be installed.
The area of the garden along the tall back fence is kept for native plants and trees to encourage wildlife with a meadow area by the bottom corner. Alistair Dunstan donated six heritage apple trees which he has grafted. This forms the basis of a small community orchard.
The main area of the garden in the centre is mowed and provides an open space for picnics and activities.
John Bradon and Alexa Duckworth-Briggs were successful in applying for a Heritage Fund to help develop the site for wildlife and specifically to celebrate the history of the site with and interpretation board. The Whitchurch Society, which supports several local activities, were happy to be the formal applicant and received the £3,400 grant in July 2022.The grant enabled additional plants, bird and bat boxes to be purchased. Working parties to install these and improve the site further have continued.
John Bradon, Anna Szczeponek, Sally Woolhouse and others have written, designed and designed the interpretation board and an event to unveil it will be held early in 2024.
Further information on this and also the photographs discovered during research for the information board will be added to this website.
Some Earlier Project Updates
20th August 2021 - The installation of a wooden memorial cross, which was funded and hand-crafted in oak by Matt and Alexa Duckworth-Briggs.
17th May 2021 - During May plaques to remember two local residents were mounted on a bench. We also held a working party where the garden was tidied, a temporary sign explaining about the history of the church and site was put up and plans for the more permanent information board were discussed
8th April 2021 - The design for the cross, to be installed on the church base, is coming together. The current favourite idea is to have a cross made of Oak, as this is both the national tree of Poland and a popular British tree. The idea is for the cross with be simple in design with square wood beams and ends with rounded edges, finished in a light oak colour and approximately 4ft to 4ft 6 inches in height. This picture gives an idea of the shape, although it's flatter than what's planned and a darker colour. If you'd like to comment on the design please email Alexa.
9th March 2021 - An update on recent progress was reported as a news item on the website.
5th December 2020 - Meeting on site to discuss benches and planters, details here.
Work started on the church base in August 2020 and completed in October 2020.
Notes from the PC Meeting 13th February 2020
Notes from the get-together on the site on the 27th October 2019
Notes from an initial visit to the garden on 7th August 2019
How do I get involved?
Anna Szczeponek is the Green Team site guardian and she
maintains the site with the help of ad hoc Green Team working parties.
Contact Contact Jill Bradon 0118 984 1574 or email