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The 2022 results are in...

Devon’s Best Churchyard Competition

All Saints, Kenton was on the verge of closure just a few years ago but has just been named Devon CPRE's Best Churchyard 2022

The people of Kenton, near Exeter, rallied to rescue their village church early in the pandemic. Through their sterling efforts, the green space around All Saints Kenton has become a sanctuary for people and wildlife that impressed the competition judges. Repairs have also been carried out to the fabric of the building and some of the graves, a new vicar has been appointed and the church has once again become a hub for the Teignbridge village.

All Saints, Kenton, Devon CPRE's Best Churchyard 2022 winner's plaque.
The winning team at All Saints, Kenton: Devon CPRE Best Churchyard 2022.
This is the fifth year of the competition. Once again the judges, the charity’s Director Penny Mills and Trustee Ivan Buxton, travelled the length and breadth of the county visiting the diverse entries.  The Covid lockdowns highlighted the importance of churchyards to local communities, particularly in places where other recreational areas and facilities have been lost.

Devon CPRE’s Penny Mills said, “Kenton thoroughly deserves to win this year. Just two years ago the church was under threat of closure and the churchyard was a neglected wilderness.  But local people got together and turned around the fortunes of both the church and the churchyard in such a short space of time. Many small rural churches are in the same situation as Kenton was. It just goes to show that where there’s a will, there’s a way!”

All Saints, Kenton: Devon CPRE's Best Churchyard 2022
Presenting Kenton with the winner’s plaque and a cheque for £200, Head Judge and Trustee Ivan Buxton added, “It was clear that All Saints, Kenton deserved to be recognised and we hope our competition spurs on other communities to make more of these precious green spaces. Devon's churchyards rely on volunteers who put in so much hard work. We hope our annual awards go some way towards recognising all they do and saying thank you.

“It's good to hear that our competition has also given volunteers ideas about what else they could do to help make their churchyard an even better place for both people and wildlife.”

Accepting the trophy on behalf of All Saints Kenton Friends Group, Jane and John Perkins said they had done their homework to improve their chances of winning by visiting previous competition winners. Jane Perkins said being named Devon’s best was an accolade to everyone in the community who had helped bring the church and churchyard back from the brink, “We wanted this to be a community space because in 2020 we lost our village shop, Post Office and pub and it would have been a tragedy if we had lost the church as well. It’s amazing to receive this lovely award.”

All Saints, Kenton
St Michael’s Chagford has received the runner up prize and two highly commended prizes are awarded to St Andrews’s Halberton and All Saints, Holbeton. The Most improved churchyard certificate is awarded to St John The Baptist Church, Chittlehamholt and Best New Entry Certificate is awarded to St John The Baptist Church, Hawkchurch. Congratulations to them all.

Runner up: St Michael's Chagford. 

St Michael’s in the Dartmoor town of Chagford received the Runnerup prize
St Michael’s Churchyard, Chagford.

Highly Commended: St Andrews Halberton and All Saints, Holbeton. 

Click here to read the full review of all of the awards on our website
Thank you to everybody who entered the competition this year. You all do an amazing job looking after these precious green spaces. We look forward to next year’s competition!
The Devon CPRE Team.

01392 966737  |  info@cpredevon.org.uk

Posted in DCC.