Our Churchyard

The church is surrounded by extensive grounds which provide a very attractive setting. Over the years, we have endeavoured continually to make improvements to enhance its appearance.  The introduction of the Garden of Remembrance and the wild flower garden are described on separate pages.  A more recent change to the Memorial Garden was to remove the old compost heap and its surrounding rather unruly bushes, and grass over the area, and re-locate the compost at the top of the garden in new purpose built wooden compost bins, paid for by a Croydon Episcopal Area Special Grant. The east side of the drive alongside the Garden was neatened and kerbed through a donation from a parishioner in memory of her husband.

On the northwest side of the church a patio has been laid, on the north side of which is a garden created and tended by a parishioner.  The bank alongside the York Rooms has been grassed and topped with colourful flowering shrubs.

The drive that runs around the grassy central area receives very hard wear with traffic from the increasing community use of the church and its rooms. Recently, the top of the drive parallel with the church was widened and kerbed, thanks to grants from Tandridge District Council, Oxted Parish Council and a donation given in memory of a loved one.  At the entrance to the drive, there was a rockery; however with cars getting larger and larger, it was no longer decorative, but an obstacle. Thanks to a grant from Surrey County Council through Councillor Nick Skellett’s Members’ Allocation, this has now been removed.

Another grant from Surrey County Council through Mr Skellett has enabled further smoothing out of the kerbing at the top of the drive to protect the grass from car damage, and the restoration of external lighting to the tower.

The Wild Flower Garden 

Fritillaires The churchyard of St John's, like so many others, was derived from ancient meadowland.  It was a delight to discover some years ago, a purple spotted orchid in bloom there. 


In 1997, the Parochial Church Council decided to designate that region of the churchyard a conservation area.  The aim was to protect the orchid and also to introduce and encourage other wild plant species. 






 A variety of grasses and colourful wild flowers flourish including, violets, primroses, fritillaries, cowslips, ox-eye daisies and red campion, in addition to the orchid which  produced two flower spikes initially, with another one in 2013, and two more were discovered in June 2014.

 

 

 

 

A Garden of Remembrance

A Garden of Remembrance lies to the right of the drive. Image of the Garden of Remembrance

There, the cremated remains of parishioners are buried, each plot being marked by a small square memorial stone. Fresh flowers, not artificial,  can be placed on the stones, and this provides a focus for people to remember their departed loved ones.  

Seats are placed around the Garden so that people may also pause and reflect.  

Many like to sit and enjoy the beauty and peace of the surroundings.

For enquiries about the Garden of Remembrance please contact the Vicar.