Shadwell In Bloom


The main features of our churchyard are the garden at the front of the church and the Garden of Remembrance in the rear churchyard. As is often the case the work to keep these two areas so beautiful falls on a small number of people. Two volunteers work tirelessly in the front garden and another two volunteers, Celia and Richard, have received special recognition and awards for their wonderful work in our Garden of Remembrance. The responsibility for the latter has now passed to the church and is included in the general maintenance schedules. Volunteers are very welcome to deal with the detailed work that the garden requires.

Like the Garden of Remembrance our churchyard is still open for burials and has graves dating all the way back to Victorian times. Families are encouraged to tend to the graves of their relatives in the churchyard and in the Garden of Remembrance (see elsewhere for further information on the latter). With graves dating back generations volunteers are welcome to help look after some of our graves where the family line no longer continues.With enough volunteers we are hoping to complete a special short project to improve some of our older graves in the lower churchyard. There is some very interesting family history waiting to be discovered….

The grass is cut on a fortnightly basis in the main areas of the churchyard throughout the spring, summer and autumn. Because of the terrain and the nature of the churchyard it can not be cut with a large machine and so it takes about 8 hours to cut the grass in the churchyard and even longer to strim around the gravestones! Those in the congregation who used to do this work are no longer able to do it themselves. The congregation now pay for the work to be done on behalf of the church and for the benefit of the wider community.

The War Memorial has received a facelift via efforts of the congregation and Shadwell Parish Council who gained the sponsorship for the work.

We have tried to create a welcoming place where people are happy to come and spend time, a peaceful contemplative space in a busy world.

Paul Bell


Celia Wroe and Richard Wells wrote the following:

The Garden of Remembrance is where the cremated ashes of loved ones are interred.

In 2003 we Richard Wells and Celia Wroe, both having been widowed decided we would like our spouses’ ashes interred in the Garden.  However, the actual place then was featureless and we were both unhappy about interring their ashes there.  Previous volunteers had cut the grass and planted a few trees. At that time, there were only a couple of rows of interments and the area was cordoned off.  However, surrounding the area were huge piles of debris, mainly soil left by undertakers when digging new graves, bricks and grass cuttings etc.

So with the agreement of the Church, we decided in 2003 to landscape the Garden and make it look more welcoming.  Together, we shifted the rubble and started by making a bed at each side of the Millennium seat donated by the Y.C.A.  Originally we supplied and paid for the plants ourselves.  Like all keen gardeners, we wanted to expand the Garden, but of course this involved not only work, which we were happy to do voluntarily, but more expense, so with the agreement of St. Paul’s, we set up a special fund in 2006 to raise money, not only for immediate expenses, but with the intention of securing the Garden of Remembrance for future generations, when we were unable to do the work.  Families of loved ones, interred in the Garden and local residents were very generous and we thoroughly enjoyed seeing the Fund grow, through our own efforts. We are now able to pay for all the day to day cost of running the garden together with all the planting, which we do three times a year.  However, of course we still welcome donations, which can still be made to Celia or Richard. (Telephone 0113 2737536 on how to do this).  Remember the Garden is enjoyed by everyone, particularly those who are resident in Shadwell and the cost of maintaining the Garden is an ongoing process.  We also play a huge part in the results of the Yorkshire in Bloom competition for Shadwell.  The judges always come down to view the Garden and are very complimentary.

We successfully applied for a grant from Leeds City Council well-being fund, which enabled us to purchase the Garden of Remembrance memorial stone at the entrance.  Previously, there was nothing to indicate where or what the Garden was. At the entrance we also spent considerable time and effort raising a derelict gravestone, much to the delight of the two grand-daughters (in their 80’s) who turned up unexpectedly. The seat at the entrance was also donated by a local resident.

The Garden is hard work, but we enjoy it (most of the time) and receive lots of compliments. Although we do get frustrated sometimes when we are working in the garden and sometimes visitors ignore us!  The satisfaction is from knowing we bring comfort to lots of families, because we have created a unique, special place. We feel that the landscaping we have done is in keeping with its surroundings and has created a lovely tranquil garden for everyone to enjoy.

Celia Wroe and Richard Wells