3: Hethel churchyard

Church members are extremely grateful to the Wymondham Nature Group (WyNG), whose volunteers work with us to manage the churchyard. Mowing once a year and dragging off the resultant grass keeps the soil 'poor' and improves the habitat for a wide range of wildflowers. Depending on when you come, you may see wild daffodils, pyramid orchids or oxeye daisies.

The South Norfolk Council ecologist explained to us that places like churchyards act as wildlife havens or 'corridors', places where species that are under threat from pesticides or predators can survive. Ultimately such sites may have a vital role in repopulating a wider landscape as we discover more about the complex ecology of our world and the interdependence of species.

We wonder, sometimes, whether that is also a key role of churches. Those who have encountered God in some way keep the flame of faith alive in an increasingly secular world. One day, we believe, the realisation will dawn that there's more to this existence than the eye sees. Who will then share their knowledge of the deepest things?