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A Brief History of the Church of St Mary Magdalene

Recent Improvements.

The Churchyard was once the proud owner of an enormous elm tree that had taken residence amidst the Knapping family graves on the Southern side of the site.This was the most densely populate area of graves. The tree defied gravity, being completely hollow but still growing up above.


This posed a huge problem which Mother Nature solved. Ironically, the tree tumbled the night before major storms in October 2013. The team had been working in the area where the tree fell just hours before. Fortunately the grave of William Haker (1639) and the two listed graves of Peter and Peter Lodvick remained unharmed. However, the Knapping family graves were damaged. It was decided that the tree root should remain in place and relevant permissions will be sought for the repair of the damaged gravestones.


The Team spent an incredibly exhausting weekend landscaping the area and removing the remains of the fallen tree. We will apply for permission to place a plaque upon the remaining tree stump to commemorate its demise. This fits with the history of the Church, since two episodes of trees falling from the same area in the 1930's had threatened the future of the Church.

Storm damage in October 2013 wreaked havoc around the Knapping family graves. It has proven a major project to restore the area to its original state but hard work and determination has thus far proven successful.

Please click on image to start slide show.

The area has now been re-seeded thanks to a very generous donation from Bruce at Reads Nursery, Sutton Road. All the team offer a huge thank you for his generosity and interest in the site.

12.05.2014 Tidy Up For RCCE Bestkept  Churchyard Competition 2014

The judging for the above competition is within the next couple of weeks (date to be confirmed) With the warmer showery weather, the weeds are in their element and seem to grow overnight. Steve and Faye went to the Churchyard after work and managed to do some weeding and get the trusty mower around the yard. The grass is now on its way and Shopland Churchyard gets more beautiful week by week. We hope you enjoy the slideshow.

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