Eco Church : Land
St Andrew's Church is the owner of two areas of land in the town centre, the Gardens immediately around our church building and the graveyard behind the church which backs on to Elsee Road. Both these areas of land are officially closed graveyards, so no new interments can be made (other than ashes in our Memorial Garden). As they are closed they are now maintained by Rugby Borough Council who are responsible for their upkeep. However as landowners we are aware of our responsibility to support RBC in enabling the land to be used for the benefit of local residents and visitors. To that end we are working on two projects in partnership: the first is described below: 'At the heart garden transformation'; the second is being led by RBC and Local Councillors, and can be read about here:
At the Heart Garden Transformation
Thanks to the generosity of the local community, to WCC, RBC and others, we have reached our funding goal (£46,500) for Phase 1.
We can now deliver the following:
Transform and rejuvenate St Andrew's Church gardens into a tranquil green space at the very heart of Rugby town. The gardens are already central to many town festivals and celebrations, for example, the annual Food and Drink Festival but are overgrown, a little tired and can suffer with anti-social behaviour.
We pledge to:
1.Reduce and replenish current planting: making more space for community events; a flagship bee friendly garden, whilst improving sight lines, with the aim of reducing anti social behaviour in the centre of town.
2. Co-curate the space with users, installing a water fountain, charging points and a story telling chair.
3. Protect the current memorial garden by developing a community-driven arts commission, with new seating, offering a safe refuge for reflection.
What we'll deliver:
A new bespoke space for community and town events - with new power and space for more stalls, performance and play
A flag ship, chemical free, fully bee-friendly, pollinators garden in the heart of town
A specially commissioned public art piece, where people can pledge to remember a loved one
More free music and performances for the community within the garden - to include more festivals, markets and events
A water refill and drinking fountain - (Church faculty to be confirmed)
Solar powered charging bench
Why it's a great idea:
St Andrew's Gardens is a much loved and well used green space at the heart of Rugby Town. It's a key venue for the Rugby Bike Fest, Festival of Culture, and the Food Festival all of which are rapidly growing in success. We want to invest in the gardens to provide more scope for events, plus provide bespoke outdoor space for new initiatives and community projects. The gardens deserve a new lease of life - St Andrew's Gardens a space for everyone will do just that, transforming the space through new bee friendly planting specimens, creating a peaceful and tranquil space for all to enjoy. At the Heart will commission a new public art work which will zone the play and performance space from the peaceful area of the memorial garden. You can pledge to have a loved one memorialised and remembered in this special design.
Steps to get it done:
Community engagement workshop with commissioned artist
Reduce and replenish planting and bedding areas - to create better sight-lines into the gardens
Commission bespoke public art work to zone memorial and performance areas
Plant pollinator friendly bedding circa 120 new plants - and install information boards
Install new art work and benches around the memorial zone
Launch event and dedication of memorial area
Rugby Town Centre, like all small town centres, is struggling commercially. Why people come into town centres has changed, with a move away from retail towards leisure and tourism. Open, attractive green spaces are essential to develop the town's offer in both these areas (leisure and tourism).