A Fresh Start

13 September 2018

It is an interesting exercise planning a new website.   It makes you go back to the drawing board and ask what you are trying to tell people about yourself.  We found ourselves asking the designer for simple website that was easy to navigate, visually rich, informative and conveyed our ethos and the beauty of Westmill. We really hope it is doing this and would really value your feedback. This new site is responsive to mobile devices which our last one wasn’t and has far more resources and images for you to browse. 

We hope it can be useful to people who just want to find out more about green burial or what to do when someone is dying or how to open conversations with family and friends about what you hope for at the end of your life.  And if you decide to also use Westmill we will be more than delighted to welcome you here.  In the end, finding out about whether we are the right place for you can only be decided by coming up to the site, soaking up the atmosphere and meeting us if you have further questions.  Our public events are a good opportunity to mooch about and meet people who already have someone at the burial ground but the timing of when things happen may mean this is something to do afterwards and begins a journey of finding out what our Friends and Family group has to offer. 

I was recently browsing through the Oxford Book of English Place Names.  Yes, once an English student always an English student and I stumbled across the fact that Liddington which we look up to on the Downs means ………………..near a noisy river.  I wandered on and began to find many meanings connected to noisy rivers.  Reading this takes me back to the time of carts rumbling over unmade roads, drovers driving their flocks down form the hills through the Holloways when there was no heavy machiney, traffic, planes or media.  You knew when you were getting close to home by foot or horseback because you knew intimately the bends of the track, the outlines of the trees and you recognised the clatter of water over the river in your village. 

Water runs through the story of all human settlement and here when we drive through the ancient villages on the Downs they are all sited at the same level - on the springline.  Bishopstone in particular is veined with water throughout in a quite unusual and beautiful way.  We may not be able to get right back to those times when birdsong and water, wind and rain and the crackle of the fire were the main sounds weaving around the human voice but people do say again and again that when they come up to Westmill they get a feeling of pea relax in its peace and beauty. If you are lucky the larks will be singing and spiralling above the fields or the robin will greet you at the gate or a buzzard mew overhead.  I believe these sounds and the gentle curves of the landscape can deeply soothe us, help us in the journey of coming to terms with living with a significant absence in our lives. 

Come and see for yourself. The gates are never locked.