Churchyard Action Group

St Mary’s Churchyard is a working burial ground and a wonderful place for all who love nature, history and ecology.  The churchyard covers around 3 hectares making it one of the largest in the country (just one hectare is 100 by 100 metres squared – the size of a typical championship sports ground).

St Mary’s Churchyard Action Group plays a vital and valued role in the maintenance and improvement of this ancient site and we welcome new volunteers to help.

The Churchyard Action Group meets every Tuesday morning at 9.30am and every second Saturday of the month at 10.00am.

For many years teams from Community Payback have also provided valuable help with the maintenance of the churchyard.

For more information contact Bill Cottam 0161 798 6489.


Four information panels have been installed around the churchyard to help visitors explore and interpret the site.  You can view these here:

St Mary’s Churchyard Information Panel 1

St Mary’s Churchyard Information Panel 2

St Mary’s Churchyard Information Panel 3

St Mary’s Churchyard Information Panel 4

Listen to an interview here about the churchyard and its features.  This is part of a Prestwich “Living Memories” project.

Coinciding with National Cemeteries Week 2017 we ran a series featuring St Mary’s Churchyard on our parish Twitter feed.  You can review the tweets by searching Twitter using the hashtag #stmaryschurchyard.  A complementary leaflet can be downloaded here.  It includes pictures of our wonderful churchyard with a short explanation and an appropriate prayer associated with each of the images.  We hope the material will be a helpful prayer resource, linked to this ancient and special place.

Watch here a short video on The Artisan Naturalists . This film celebrates the pioneering spirit of our forebears in researching the rich diversity of our local habitat.  The Artisan Naturalists are buried in St Mary’s Churchyard.  The film follows the story of several unique characters from the Georgian period who overcame the hardship of their working backgrounds to engage, record and report the botanical richness of their surroundings. Alongside the fascinating story of endeavour, the film has some stunning footage and time-lapse of St Mary’s Church and the adjacent Prestwich Clough.