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The Uplands Group of Parishes consists of Guilsborough, Hollowell, Thornby, Cold Ashby, Ravensthorpe, Cottesbrooke, Creaton and Spratton                       

Message from Reverend Caroline Burnett, the Uplands Group of Churches

Uplands Group of Parishes Office (Answerphone): 01604 743444                                


In amongst the memories is very often a sense of the spiritual too, one of my gardeners in my former parish who wasn’t a churchgoer summed up his feelings about his garden with this poem which he quoted (slightly wrongly) from memory and which seems to be quite well known:

The kiss of the sun in the morning,

The song of the birds for mirth,

One is nearer God’s heart in a garden

than anywhere else on earth.


In fact, this is from a longer, religious poem by Dorothy Gurney and the correct wording is ‘The kiss of the sun for pardon’, but that’s not the point; the point is that people’s experience seems to be that in a garden, where very personal stories are told through memories and through plants, we also find God’s presence, valuing and blessing those stories and memories and helping us to know that as we work to create a little bit of paradise here on earth we are known and loved by the great creator.  Reverend Caroline


are buried; loved ones’ ashes are scattered – memories are held in all sorts of different ways in gardens.  And of course, hours spent alone with our thoughts as we work away in our gardens means that they’ve been privy to some of our most secret thoughts and deepest longings.

In amongst the memories is very often a sense of the spiritual too, one of my gardeners in my former parish who wasn’t a churchgoer summed up his feelings about his garden with this poem which he quoted (slightly wrongly) from memory and which seems to be quite well known:

The kiss of the sun in the morning,

The song of the birds for mirth,

One is nearer God’s heart in a garden

than anywhere else on earth.


In fact, this is from a longer, religious poem by Dorothy Gurney and the correct wording is ‘The kiss of the sun for pardon’, but that’s not the point; the point is that people’s experience seems to be that in a garden, where very personal stories are told through memories and through plants, we also find God’s presence, valuing and blessing those stories and memories and helping us to know that as we work to create a little bit of paradise here on earth we are known and loved by the great creator.  Reverend Caroline


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Email: uplandsgroup@btinternet.com

   I grew up in a gardening family.  When I was a teenager I was baffled that my mum could ever have thought that a trug was a cool birthday present but now I find myself thrilled and excited by a new pair of long handled edging shears and I wouldn’t mind a new trug either.

Perhaps it’s hereditary or perhaps it’s a deep seated human instinct to want to nurture plants and see them grow, very much in the same way that we know the hunting instinct sits not very far below the surface for some people (especially men); all of this taking us back to a time when all our food had to be grown, found or caught.

Visiting Open Garden events in the villages of the Uplands Group of Churches and having organized a similar event in one of my former parishes have taught me that gardening in our society has come to have significance beyond food production, even if that was originally at the root of it (if you’ll pardon the obviousness of the language).  People are passionate about their gardens for so many reasons and often because of the stories that they tell: as families grow up, gardens go from being places where children have grown and laughed and played to being carefully tended works of art; gardeners always know where their plants came from, who gave them to them, sometimes the place and occasion where they took a cutting or a root to bring home; garden ornaments are brought home from days out and holidays; family pets

ST ETHELDREDA     PLANT A DAFFODIL

In September/October this year we hope to plant lots of daffodil bulbs in both the churchyard and the cemetery. The aim is to offer people the opportunity to remember any loved ones buried in Guilsborough or elsewhere, or maybe those unknown to us who have lost their lives in the pandemic. You may wish to sponsor - as a group - some bulbs on behalf of a village organisation you belong to. Any money raised will be used for the ongoing daily ministry of St Etheldreda’s in what has been a very difficult year financially.

If you would like to take part, please click here and complete the details before sending to Hillary Worton.


Please do come and look at the new daffodils next Spring!


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Local news from the Northamptonshire villages of Cold Ashby, Cottesbrooke, Creaton, Guilsborough, Hollowell & Teeton and Thornby.

Last updated Monday, August 2, 2021

Copy deadline for next printed edition: Wednesday 1st September 2021

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