On Wednesday 27th June 2018 the contoured benches were put into place around the tree stump and prayer completing the Sanctuary Project at All Saints Church coinciding with the All Saints Flower Festival the following weekend.

It is encouraging that the Sanctuary has received a lot of positive feedback despite the Sanctuary looking new and unnatural and the grass brown and trampled. When the grass has regrown to its previous verdant self, the bases have lost their white glare and the benches have toned down the Sanctuary will blend in more with the natural setting of the churchyard and surrounding area.

Now the Sanctuary is open to all for prayer, contemplation and remembrance. Also due to its quiet and natural setting people can sit and connect with the natural world benefitting their health and wellbeing.


Plans have been approved to convert the area in the photograph, which is located at the intersection of the four paths in the 1928 churchyard, into a quiet seated sanctuary. This will involve the removal of the old bench and replace it with four contoured benches on concrete bases around the tree stump. A crown made of either sweet chestnut or cedar with a prayer carved into it will be attached to the top of the tree stump. There will also be two signs to guide people to the Sanctuary from the car park and from the 1928 churchyard lychgate.
Planned primarily as a quiet, tranquil place for prayer, reflection and remembrance the Sanctuary will also be an important place to raise the awareness and importance of sacred places within the local community by encouraging its use for community events involving music, storytelling, folklore, poetry, writing, reading, art and photography to name a few.
Due to its location and the abundance of wildlife surrounding it the Sanctuary will be a place where people can come to sit quietly and connect with the natural world receiving all of the associated health and wellbeing benefits.

A Biblical Herb Garden located on the south side of All Saints Church is also being planned. With more than 125 plants, trees and herbs being mentioned in the bible most of which are suited to hot, arid growing conditions. The herbs planned to be grown in the garden at All Saints will include Basil, Chives, Dill, Lemon Balm, Coriander, Marjoram, Mint, Rosemary, Sage and Thyme along with others that are more suited to the UK climate. Lavender will be used as a border plant. As well as being available for human use a lot of herbs along with the lavender are excellent sources of food for bees and other endangered pollinators.
For the Sanctuary and the Biblical Herb Garden various sources of funding are being explored one of which is personal contributions and sponsorship. This will enable people to make a personal contribution towards the Sanctuary or sponsor individual herbs in memory of a loved one. Although the Sanctuary is not designed to be a memorial garden recognition of all personal contributions and a list of those remembered, if required, will be displayed in the church porch. For sponsors of the Herb Garden a list of the herb sponsored and the name of those remembered, again if required, will also be displayed in the church porch.

For more information of the projects or if you want to make a personal contribution towards the Sanctuary or the Biblical Herb Garden please contact David Back on 07713459189 or email

All Saints Living Churchyards Project is part of the Exeter Diocese Devon Living Churchyards Project.

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