Bishop of Leeds visits Dales community

The Bishop of Leeds Nick Baines was welcomed to the United Benefice of Leyburn and Bellerby on Sunday for a service held in Bellerby to celebrate community and the parish’s work on the environment.

The celebration started off in the community garden.

As well as a hymn and prayers, the group heard from members of the community about the transformation of rocky waste land to a community garden with greenhouse, space to relax and the opportunity to garden if you wish.

Church leaders say a visitor recently said “it’s as if the garden is hugging you”.

The gropup then moved into church and heard from a member of the environment group about the work being done in the church yard and St John’s Church to draw closer to achieving net sero by 2030.

“After a talk by Bishop Nick, and the promise of a name check of Bellerby on BBC Radio 2 Zoe Ball’s show the next day, the party went to the Memorial Hall where they enjoyed a selection of cakes and tables decorated with local wild flowers from around Bellerby.

This was Bishop Nick’s first visit to Bellerby and he later wrote in the Bellerby Community Garden visitor book: “Wonderful community garden, wonderful church, wonderful people. Thank you for the welcome.”

Rev Stephen Hanscombe, vicar of the Benefice of Leyburn and Bellerby said: “It was a fantastic afternoon where our people  came together to celebrate all that is going on in our communities.

“Bishop Nick inspired us to continue with this work as he reflected on the importance of gardens in the Bible and at the centre of our faith.”

The Community Garden is open all the time, church is open between 10am and 4pm and all are welcome to enjoy.