Sunday, 1 September 2013

The Parish Life - September

The work day for September is Saturday 14th 09.30-12.00 all welcome, as ever. 

This day coincides with the Historic Churches Ride and Stride. Participants will be raising money for their chosen Church plus benefitting less fortunate Churches in Wiltshire. We will be able to meet and greet them with a cheery smile and refreshments. Perhaps you are riding and striding - the Church will be open and welcoming at St. Giles.

The welcome dry spell has reduced growth somewhat, so there may be less spoil to clear up and more time for plant TLC, which is always enjoyable. The majority of species in the botanical kingdom have been tested by human beings over the centuries for their nutritional or medical benefits. Graves of short lived food tasters testify to the poisonous

We have two species of Filipendula at St. Giles. The slender and delicate Dropwort with its delicate white flower heads tinged with pink. More numerous as a down land plant, yet still found locally.  The other is the more robust and widespread Meadowsweet. The heady scent from this plant fills a room and conjures up images of halcyon days of childhood in the minds eye.

Many uses have been found for Meadowsweet - wine, soups, salads. More importantly the plant contains salicylic acid the active ingredient in Aspirin, where this chemical was first isolated. Dried leaves can be made into tea to relieve headaches. The plant also contains anti-rheumatic compounds. The flowers are used as an infusion to treat colds and flu, fluid retention and arthritis. The antiseptic qualities mean that an infusion is also good for relieving the symptoms of urinary tract infections. All these uses from one plant, so how much reliance is placed on plants for our wellbeing?

The majority of you will remember Eve Pegler. Eve is now Team Vicar at Motcombe in Dorset. We visited Eve at her request, to assess the possibilities of a Living Churchyard at Motcombe. Pat and I spent a pleasant afternoon recently talking to Eve and the PCC to kick start the Project there. They have fine areas of Snowdrops, Orange Hawkweed, Birds Foot Trefoil and much more. With help from the Dorset Wildlife Trust and Living Churchyard Project, they are going to formulate a management plan based on the St. Giles concept.

Contributed by: Ivan Randall; Coordinator.

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