The lych gate is
the roofed gateway of the churchyard (really
part of the church), lyc
being the old English word for corpse or body. Thus
the words lych gate really mean corpse gate.
In the Middle Ages most people were buried in just shrouds
od cloths rather than coffins, the dead being carried
to the lych gate and placed on a bier, where the priest
conducted the first part of the funeral service under
its temporary shelter.
of the trees, shrubs and flowers growing in the churchyard
have long been thought to have a symbolic meaning. They
remind us of things connected with the Christian faith.
See the Churchyard
The Yew Trees
very old. The yew is slow-growing and a very long-lived
tree, so it has been looked upon as a symbol of immortality
and therefore a suitable tree to be planted in the place
where people are buried.
prickly leaves of The
Holly remind usr of the crown of thorns which
Jesus wore when he was crucified. The red berries are
like drops of blood which remind us that Christ's blood
was shed for us.
Thus the holly tree has come to be known as a reminder
of the Passion of Christ.
Laurel is another evergreen shrub which has long
been thought of as a symbol of victory and distinction
with a laurel wreath, a circular wreath made of interlocking
branches and leaves, being awarded to winners of ancient
They were adopted as a symbol of Christian victory and
can remind us of the great victory of Christ over sin
Daffodil and the
Lily remind us of everlasting life. Though
the bulbs look dead when they are placed in the ground,
new life springs within them and they blossom into
beautiful flowers. So our church is decorated with
such blooms especially at Easter time.
The Lily of the
Valley, with its white blossom is a symbol
of purity and humility, and it is often associated
with Mary the mother of Jesus.
Clover, being a three-leaved plant is an obvious
symbol of the Holy Trinity. Each individual leaf has
three parts, which are not three separate leaves, but
one leaf. So in the same way, God is God the Father,
God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost; yet He is not three
Gods, but one.
The Christmas Rose
has been thought of as a reminder of the Nativity.