Skip to content

North and East Yorkshire’s Best Churchyard Competition 2023


North and East Yorkshire’s Best Churchyard Competition.

'The Churchyard, God’s acre, is one of the most enduring features of the landscape. Together with the church it forms a physical as well as the spiritual centre of the community……The churchyard is the centre of the communal worship and celebration, the site of the most important occasions in life, baptism, marriage and burial…'
John Talbot White

Entries are invited from churches of all denominations from across the county to enter our North and East Yorkshire’s Best Churchyard Competition 2023. Entry is FREE – and must be received by 31st May 2023. Application form and more information below.

'North and East Yorkshire has hundreds of churchyards and they are beautiful places. That’s why we believe in celebrating them and celebrating the people that look after them – because they are often volunteers and they do a fantastic job.'
Jan Arger, CPRE North Yorkshire Chairman

North and East Yorkshire’s historic churches play a pivotal role in our rural communities and form a unique part of our loved landscape. After all, they are the only unchanged places in some parishes since Saxon times.  North and East Yorkshire’s churchyards are so much more than burial grounds. They are unique and special places. Green havens of sanctuary for people and wildlife. Some little changed over the centuries.  Churchyards therefore provide ideal habitats for our precious wildlife.

The judges are not seeking the most pristine or manicured churchyards. They are looking for well-managed churchyards which provide a peaceful haven for people and wildlife. Each entry is visited by the judges and assessed on a range of criteria.

The competition aims to recognise and reward North and East Yorkshire’s churchyards which are well managed to provide both a peaceful haven for people and wildlife. We encourage entries from churchyards of all denominations.   Churchyards are hallowed grounds which deserve to be celebrated as part of North Yorkshire’s landscape.

Which North and East Yorkshire churchyards will make the shortlist in 2023?

As well as the prestige of winning, there’s a further incentive – a winning prize of £200 and a beautiful plaque to display to locals and visitors.
The deadline for entries is 31st May 2023.

So if you think your churchyard is good for wildlife and/or is a special sanctuary for people, please enter our free competition!

Full details and an entry from can be downloaded here

Best Churchyard information – 2023


We are looking forward to this year’s competition.


The 2021 Winners were St. Mary’s Church Kettlewell and Highly Commended were St. John’s Church, Sharow. 

The 2022 Winners were St Catherine’s, Barmby Moor and highly commended were Bridlington Priory, St. Mary’s in Kirkburn, St Peter’s in Upper Helmsley 

The 2023 Winners were St. Oswald’s, Newton under Roseberry. 

Kettlewell - Winning Churchyard 2021