Plant life

plant life in the churchyard

Some 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.

Yew treeThe yew trees are 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. The prickly leaves of the holly tree have often been thought of as a reminder of the crown of thorns which Jesus wore when he was crucified. The red berries are like drops of blood, and serve to 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. Graveyards usually have yew trees and holly in them. Yew trees and holly are 'evergreens' - the leaves do not die in winter. These plants remind us that we can live for ever in heaven.

The 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 blossoms is a symbol of purity and humility, and it is often associated with Mary the mother of Jesus. The clover, being a three-leaved plant is an obvious symbol of the Holy Trinity. Each leaf has three parts, which are not three separate leaves, but one leaf. So likewise, 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.