St Thomas Churchyard Consultation
Church Yard Refurbishment Project
Lymington churchyard provides a green oasis in the centre of Lymington. While there are often people hurrying through the churchyard, the church wants to encourage residents and visitors alike to use it as a place of quiet and respite.
There are at least 100 trees in the churchyard, predominantly limes. The original avenue of lime trees was planted between the late 1600s and 1736. Other trees in the churchyard include horse chestnut, oak, beech, yew, holly and hawthorn.
New Public Forecourt for St Thomas’ Church!
St Thomas’ Church and the SPUD team are developing a design proposal to create an inclusive and welcoming space for the church. The church is accessible directly from the High Street and provides a welcome green space for the congregation as well as passers by. The Church team approached SPUD in order to give the church yard some key renovation work.
Some of the current challenges that the church is facing; is the encroaching damp in the entrance area; the tired, oversized flower beds and the patchwork of different pathway materials.
This project aims to bring both the congregation and the wider community together through collaboration.
Previous SPUD youth Project, new bench and bike shelter
Lymington Juniors participating in the Schools Design Workshop
There has been a church on this prominent site for more than 800 years. During this time the building has experienced frequent and extensive maintenance and has under gone several reconstructions and additions. The refurbishment of the church yard is just the next chapter of a long history of renewal.
The Church has a very forward thinking approach in terms of it’s oureach and mission and tries to involve as many people as possible from Messy Church and home communion, to Monday Lunch club, toddlers group and Vistas Cafe.
SPUD and St Thomas’ Church have worked collaboratively on addressing the issues and a design approach. Both the congregation and local schools have been engaged in the early stages of the project, and have been pivotal in helping shape the story for the forecourt. Topics of nature and reflective spaces came out as strong themes when asking school children about the elements they think are unique and of high importance. Another important connection between SPUD and St Thomas has been the renewed working between St Thomas and SPUD youth; a youth programme run after school for students with an interest in architecture, urban design and public art.
St Thomas’ Church is in a unique position in Lymington, at the end of the High Street the church can be seen from quite a distance. It sits within the boundary of its own graveyard at the junction of St Thomas Street, the High Street and Church Lane. Lymington is an active market town, with a true sense of community.
St Thomas in a Modern Context
Existing Site Plan
St Thomas’ Church acts as a landmark upon the High Street, and connects people's walking routes through town. Because of its location, the graveyard experiences a lot of footfall and as a result becomes a destination for local residents' strolls though Lymington. Whether walking to the Cricket Club or recreation grounds the elongated plan of the graveyard provides pleasant wallking routes to the green spaces beyond.
Being protected from any kind of development, the churchyard has been left relatively undisturbed for hundreds of years. As we hear how our wildlife is in trouble, with many species of birds, mammals and insects declining, churchyards are increasingly recognised as important places for wildlife conservation. We are now managing our churchyard (particularly the area furthest away from the church) with wildlife as well as people in mind. Happily, wildlife-friendly plants in the garden areas and wild flowers growing in the long grass at the far end of the churchyard are attractive to both! If you wander through the churchyard we hope you will enjoy the tranquillity, and the plants, butterflies and birds. The church has now achieved Eco Church Gold Award.
In winter of 2019, SPUD went into local primary schools to discover exactly what children thought about their local church yard.
We need to create a public forecourt that is inviting for the general public, to include existing seating, bicycle storage design by SPUD youthand new planting.
In 2016 spudYOUTH students were given the task of regenerating St Thomas’ churchyard in Lymington. After exploring multiple options two projects were decided upon. The first was a new cycle shed to replace the worn out existing hut that was insecure and falling apart. The second piece was a new bench with new paving beneath. These designs were built in 2017.
Please browse through this digital gallery to view all of the concept designs and drawings from local young people
Please click the red button to take our St. Thomas Church Questionnaire
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Please note: We will not be collecting any email addresses and your data will be submitted anonymously.