BOURNEMOUTH’S town centre rector has saluted the students who have been improving its main churchyard.

A group of Student Union of Bournemouth University (SUBU) volunteers spent two Sundays clearing the churchyard at St Peter’s and planting bulbs.

Bournemouth Borough Council’s parks depart-ment also contributes to the maintenance of the historic churchyard.

Town centre rector the Rev Ian Terry said: “The students have carefully worked in collaboration with plans approved by both the Diocese of Winchester and the parks department for preservation of trees and enhancement of this central Bournemouth tourist attraction.

"Their leader in these efforts has been the energetic Aaron Newbury, who also sings in St Peter's Choir. I am hugely grateful to these students, who have been very generous with their time and energies – all working for the good of our community.

“The church is also grateful to the Friends of St Peter's, which has kindly paid for the bulbs being planted; this is led by Cllr Chris Mayne.”

St Peter’s churchyard, in Hinton Road, contains some of the town’s most historic graves.

Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, is buried there, along with the heart of her husband, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and her mother Mary Wollstonecraft, author of the seminal tract A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.

Captain Lewis Tregonwell, the founder of modern Bournemouth, also lies in the cemetery, as do two of the great conductors of Bournemouth’s symphony orchestra – Sir Dan Godfrey, who founded the Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra in 1893, and Constantin Silvestri, distinguished conductor of the modern BSO from 1962-69.

  • Bournemouth University Chamber Choir and Chamber Orchestra will join St Peter’s own choirs for a Mozart Choral Mass on Sunday, May 11, at the 10am Festival Sung Eucharists.

The guest preacher will be Dr Terry’s predecessor, Canon Jim Richardson, and the music will be directed by Sam Hanson. All are welcome.

The same day will see a free orchestral concert at 7pm by Bournemouth University’s Orchestra.