Parishioners at St James Church in Cheshire have praised offenders for the work they have done carrying out Community Payback maintaining the grounds.
The churchyard, in Birch Heath Lane, Christleton, is one of scores of churches across the region supported by the Cheshire & Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company’s (CGM CRC) unpaid work teams.
Offenders are sentenced to unpaid work orders by the courts. The sentence is a punishment for breaking the law, but it is also a way for people to learn new skills, contribute to the community and help them make positive changes to their lives.
Teams of up to 10 service users supervised by CGM CRC attend the church once a week to maintain the grounds. They cut back overgrowth, mow the grass and ensure the churchyard is in a good condition.
Janet Milton, Parochial Church Council Secretary, said: “The congregation of St James and the village community are very appreciative of the excellent work the payback team do under Val Barker’s leadership.
“During the recent lockdown it is was very obvious how much the team were missed but since their recent return, it hasn’t taken long to get the churchyard looking spick and span again and for that we thank them very much.
“We look forward to many more fruitful hours spent in the company of a great bunch of people.”
CGM CRC Community Payback supervisor Val started work at St James Church in project June 2017.
He said: “I am delighted that the work people carrying out unpaid work orders are doing is being praised by their local community.”