All those lovely bits of lawn around churches and all the nice old yew trees should be opened up for public management, according to the bishop of Carlisle, who would like to see the CofE's many polite green spaces tended by community groups for the benefit of their physical and mental health.
As you've probably already heard, being outside and gardening is thought to be good for the body and spirit, although not when trying to get sodding aubergines to grow in Scotland as that only makes you angry and feel useless and like a failure. General gardening, though, like cutting back trees and wandering about clipping the top off the odd dandelion, has been proven time and time again to de-stress the angry and benefit the physical health of the elderly, with the bishop thinking the church should invite the homeless, those with mental health issues or lonely people in the community to come in and pull some of the nettles up from between all the ornate slabs.
The bishop said: "In urban areas there is a real shortage of green space, and churches often have the only green space in a neighbourhood. In rural areas there are real problems of isolation and loneliness. There are all sorts of benefits -- therapeutic, meeting up with others, finding a sense of belonging and purpose." [Guardian]