I have been aproched in the past and have noticed adverts about cutting lawns and maintaining churchyards near to where I live. My question is do you feel these projects can be a usual tool to show your customers you are doing your bit for the community. As they can also lead to further work in the village and town as an advert to your work. If so do u feel as the churches are run pretty much as charities you offer a slightly discounted rate.

Would be useful to hear your ideas and comments

Tags: charity, churches, lawns, maintenance

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Andy is the vicar doing the service at a reduced rate as a thank you for your reduced rate

andy@ Doughty Garden Maintenance said:

I look after the church yard at kirkby green which is over the road from a large manor house job of mine. I love taking care of it, I do it at a reduced rate which i am more than comfortable with. When i took it on it was in a right state now it looks lovely (pictures in my profile), I have uncovered a number of graves that had become overgrown which is a great feeling.

The church's only income is from donations and wedding/funeral fees (last year there was 1 wedding, no funerals for 3 years) out of this it has to pay the Lincoln dioscese a monthly fee which i find ridiculous, and it's electric and heating.

I am not a religeous man but i take great pride in looking after this church, the villagers really appreciate it and i would happily do it for nothing if needs be.

I will be getting married there in August, I very much feel it is my church.

Sometimes it's nice to do something that isn't just for financial reward!

the vicar at our local church has the options of the vicarage garden maintenance paid for or paid in lue (he chose the latter) and the result it looks like a jungle

Simon Smith said:

Don't forget churches tend to own a few properties it's not just the church grounds. I have contract with my local parish for 4 vicarages. This has led to a fair bit of extra work and it means my ad in the parish magazine has a bit more clout as the staff can recommend me.

My village church garden is looked after by its congregation and the vicar who just happens to be a gardener as well. Church in next village often has sheep on it and the remaining parts are done by volunteers. 

The church in my parents village is tidied by offenders from Armley prison in leeds on various forms of training and community work - I have volunteered to help with a church tidy in a friends village (they provided good food!) as they have a genuine need for the assistance. (Most of that church yard was bramble when I got to it, had been over 10 years since it was tidied).

I suppose alot depends on the area - a dwindling congregation and building in need of repairs - the Church's budget for that site will be stretched and they will be inclined to leave the outside to grow to save the fabric of the building - a larger congregation or valueable associated property will mean they can afford to have a pro-grade job done rather than just volunteers trying to mow ivy off a tree (Yes, mow a tree...).

Do what ever you think is right - each situation is different.

Stuart @ Eco Garden Maintenance said:

My village church garden is looked after by its congregation and the vicar who just happens to be a gardener as well. Church in next village often has sheep on it and the remaining parts are done by volunteers. 

I look after three churchyards. I charge the going rate and have always got the odd bit of local work out of it, I always have my swing board outside and stop and take the time to people I see wondering about and get rid of done business cards that way. They are not the easiest of things to mow but I find the church wardens always flexible about when I do them so fit them into  my round. To be honest on a nice summers evening it's lovely to be mowing in the churchyards.

David Cox said:

The church in my parents village is tidied by offenders from Armley prison in leeds on various forms of training and community work - I have volunteered to help with a church tidy in a friends village (they provided good food!) as they have a genuine need for the assistance. (Most of that church yard was bramble when I got to it, had been over 10 years since it was tidied).

I suppose alot depends on the area - a dwindling congregation and building in need of repairs - the Church's budget for that site will be stretched and they will be inclined to leave the outside to grow to save the fabric of the building - a larger congregation or valueable associated property will mean they can afford to have a pro-grade job done rather than just volunteers trying to mow ivy off a tree (Yes, mow a tree...).

Do what ever you think is right - each situation is different.

Stuart @ Eco Garden Maintenance said:

My village church garden is looked after by its congregation and the vicar who just happens to be a gardener as well. Church in next village often has sheep on it and the remaining parts are done by volunteers. 

No David, but the vergers fee is being waived as the verger is my customer at the manor house job over the road and is where we are having our reception, I'm happy with that.

David Benson said:

Andy is the vicar doing the service at a reduced rate as a thank you for your reduced rate

andy@ Doughty Garden Maintenance said:

I look after the church yard at kirkby green which is over the road from a large manor house job of mine. I love taking care of it, I do it at a reduced rate which i am more than comfortable with. When i took it on it was in a right state now it looks lovely (pictures in my profile), I have uncovered a number of graves that had become overgrown which is a great feeling.

The church's only income is from donations and wedding/funeral fees (last year there was 1 wedding, no funerals for 3 years) out of this it has to pay the Lincoln dioscese a monthly fee which i find ridiculous, and it's electric and heating.

I am not a religeous man but i take great pride in looking after this church, the villagers really appreciate it and i would happily do it for nothing if needs be.

I will be getting married there in August, I very much feel it is my church.

Sometimes it's nice to do something that isn't just for financial reward!

I look after the chuchyard in our village, and it has been a realy good advert for me, as I have had loads of work from the congregtion. Whilst I do the work at a discounted rate, it is still worth doing and Like Andy I take great pride in doing something for the community. 

I find any place that you can do work in the public eye is great for publicity, you never know whos watching and churches are interesting one as they are rewarding to an exstent i have cut many amazing churches in the welsh valleys, but at the end of the day if they dont want to pay your wage, unfotunaly its hold the white flag up for me and i move on, same old game, pennies cant buy our food anymore, pounds do !

Just out of curiosity how do you go about tidying up around all the graves, im assuming the use of a strimmer, but does this not gradually cause damage to the headstone, and what about clearing around or moving flowers etc whats the protocol there?

I use a strimmer on the newer and more sturdier gravestones, but on the older ones and ones that are eroding I use scissors to cut the grass away,

Flowers and wreaths I carefully move if they are on the grass, I mow then replace them. There was a christmas wreath on one grave that had been there for years, it was basically just a circlular frame with a few mummified holly leaves but it is not my place to dispose of it, so i always just moved it and replaced it afterwards,

 This christmas the family have put a new wreath, and i like to think they appreciate that the old one was still there,

My son is buried in a larger cemetary and the council remove any christmas items from graves after January the 31st, which i feel is a bit rude.

It's just a matter of respect for the deceased and their families

Anthony @ JDC Maintenance said:

Just out of curiosity how do you go about tidying up around all the graves, im assuming the use of a strimmer, but does this not gradually cause damage to the headstone, and what about clearing around or moving flowers etc whats the protocol there?

That's dedication! I use polycut blades, as I'm told they wont damage the gravestones, and are better for wildlife. The churchyard conservation charity Caring for God's Acre has loads of advice - http://www.caringforgodsacre.org.uk/advicesheets.aspx

andy@ Doughty Garden Maintenance said:

I use a strimmer on the newer and more sturdier gravestones, but on the older ones and ones that are eroding I use scissors to cut the grass away,

Sounds as if they are very lucky to have you....and I'm sure it is very appreciated by the families.

andy@ Doughty Garden Maintenance said:

I use a strimmer on the newer and more sturdier gravestones, but on the older ones and ones that are eroding I use scissors to cut the grass away,

Flowers and wreaths I carefully move if they are on the grass, I mow then replace them. There was a christmas wreath on one grave that had been there for years, it was basically just a circlular frame with a few mummified holly leaves but it is not my place to dispose of it, so i always just moved it and replaced it afterwards,

 This christmas the family have put a new wreath, and i like to think they appreciate that the old one was still there,

My son is buried in a larger cemetary and the council remove any christmas items from graves after January the 31st, which i feel is a bit rude.

It's just a matter of respect for the deceased and their families

Anthony @ JDC Maintenance said:

Just out of curiosity how do you go about tidying up around all the graves, im assuming the use of a strimmer, but does this not gradually cause damage to the headstone, and what about clearing around or moving flowers etc whats the protocol there?

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