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Ideas wanted for Church cricket field

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A church cricket field, owned by St Barnabas Church in Beanacre, could be given over for  community use. The church is asking for ideas from local people and the wider community. 

Around 30 years ago, St Barnabas Church in Beanacre was bequeathed the field adjoining the church with an accompanying covenant regarding its use in future years. The field was then known as Hedge Leaze.

The church committee reports, “The important part of the covenant states “The said field has been acquired and shall be used by the [Church] Council as a green open space for the benefit of the Church of St Barnabas at Beanacre aforesaid…”

“Initially an artificial cricket strip was installed in the centre of the field, which became known locally as the church cricket field. However, matches played there have been few and far between.

“During the summer months, the field has been mown weekly by church volunteers who do it in addition to keeping the church and churchyard in a good state of repair. With its mown grass and maintained perimeter fences and hedges, it has become an attractive place for dog walkers, picnickers, frisbee throwers and those just wanting a kick-around with a football. 

“However, all this takes time and money to maintain and resources are limited, and the committee of St Barnabas Church feel they may not be getting the best value from this wonderful asset. It is really an empty, open field at the moment.

“The church would like to have the field developed as a place that the local community, the residents of Beanacre and beyond, of all denominations and faiths, feel they can come to and enjoy, while at the same time retaining its links to the church. It is felt that would continue and enhance its role as being for the benefit of the church, as the bequest wished, and also for the village and community it serves.

“Within a corner of the field there is already in place a children’s playpark which is very popular, and progress is being made on an adjoining boules court and wild-flower meadow.

“The church committee is reviewing the use of the field, and would welcome suggestions as to how it can be developed, bearing in mind the terms upon which it was gifted to the church.

“The Salisbury diocese is keen on promoting green issues where possible, and It may be that part of the field can be left to a managed wilderness area, part left for a quick game of cricket or football, some grassy areas for children to romp around in complete safety, and mown walkways here and there for dog-walkers and strollers. Maybe we can have birds nesting there, butterflies abounding, newts and lizards, who knows?

“There is an alternative view that it should be used as a commercial asset to help defray the church costs, and there is some merit in that view, although that might be to the detriment of the village as a whole. The church committee are aware of that, but would rather find the best long-term solution that would benefit both the church and the community it serves. 

“It might be that sort of development would encourage the next generation of volunteers to help maintain it all, starting off with trainee wardens there for a couple of hours on a Saturday. It will always mean some time, some effort and some expenditure, but where there’s a will, there’s a way…

“What the church committee really would like to know what your thoughts might be. How would you like this very special field in the heart of Beanacre village to develop, and how would it be achieved and then maintained? 

“If you have any suggestions, thoughts and inspirations, please send them to Richard Staniforth at rmdf@ btinternet.com by the end of September – this year!”

2 Responses to Ideas wanted for Church cricket field

  1. Insolvency Trustee

    September 3, 2020 at 3:15 pm

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  2. Ashley Young

    September 4, 2020 at 7:58 am

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