Abandoned secret garden becomes community hub thanks to selfless volunteers

05 August 2018

Nick Armiger and Tony Peasgood have worked tirelessly to restore the forgotten and once beautiful church gardens at St. Giles Church, Lincoln and have been nominated for Ecclesiastical's Little Deeds, Big Difference competition.

The once beautiful gardens of St. Giles Church, Lincoln were lost to its local community after becoming overgrown with weeds and strewn with rubbish. But that was before Nick Armiger and Tony Peasgood decided to selflessly take on the project of uncovering their secret natural treasures and restoring them to their former glory. 
Nick and Tony’s mission was to transform the area into a calm and quiet retreat for the whole community, creating a haven away from the hustle and bustle of city life. And their dedicated work at the church has now seen them nominated for Ecclesiastical’s ‘Little Deeds, Big Difference’ competition. 
The gardens at St. Giles Church in the Diocese of Lincoln have now become the focal point of the community. Since Nick and Tony began the renovation, residents have been able to watch as the green space has become the pride of the local housing estate, allowing the community to use the gardens as they were intended – a quiet area for people to relax within a busy city environment.
Debra Armiger, Church Warden at St. Giles, explained why the pair have been nominated: “Nick and Tony have shown outstanding leadership and tireless dedication during their work on our church gardens. The transformation from a neglected and forgotten area to a vibrant community hub has been remarkable.
“It is staggering how the efforts of two people have truly made a difference in addressing the well-known issues of city living. The gardens at St. Giles are now a brilliant place for residents to get away from the noise and pollution, even in this well-populated area.”
Specialist insurer Ecclesiastical’s ‘Little Deeds, Big Difference’ competition seeks to showcase the work and community contribution of Anglican churches in the UK and provides a chance for them to recognise the people who tirelessly devote their time and energy to make a difference. The grand prize winner will receive £10,000 for their church and a further five prizes of £2,000 are available. The winning entries will be invited to a winner’s lunch, to be held at St Martin-in-the-Fields church in London in November.
Debra also outlined how the pair have had a wider impact on the church community: “Along with Reverend Nick Buck, Tony and Nick have developed a support network for church goers. From offering transport for the congregation to helping out in residents’ own gardens, Tony and Nick have made a big difference to the lives of people in our local community.”
Churches have until 31 August 2018 to nominate a volunteer. To find out more about this year’s competition, including how to enter, visit www.ecclesiastical.com/churchcomp.