Explore treasures and stories of churches and chapels
The Lincolnshire Wolds & Coast Churches Festival returns this month with more than 130 churches and chapels opening their doors over the first two weekends in September.
There is a church to suit everyone’s tastes – some are simple church buildings serving small villages tucked into the Wolds landscapes, others are buildings of larger stature serving our market towns. But all share one thing in common: a desire to show off their treasures and tell their stories.
“Our churches are full of wonder,” says Canon Charles Patrick, Rector of Horncastle, St Mary’s. “Each offers a different experience, whether it is beautiful memorials and stained glass or stories of local history – or simply offering a quiet space in picturesque surroundings.”
The first weekend (4th and 5th September) will showcase the delights of seaside churches, including Skegness, Sutton on Sea and Chapel St Leonards. It is the chance to discover how the encroaching sea actually forced some of our coastal churches to move inland.
Travel through the flatlands passing delightful Wolds villages to reach Alford St Wilfrid’s and its associations with Captain John Smith, one of the founders of Jamestown, USA in 1607, and then on to Louth St James and its graceful spire – a visible landmark for miles around.
Week two (11th and 12th September) contains churches steeped in history, with connections to more famous Lincolnshire explorers: St James, Spilsby and Sir John Franklin; St Lawrence, Revesby and Sir Joseph Banks.
Or follow in the footsteps of the brave people who took part in the Lincolnshire Rising – churches at Snelland, Belchford and Horncastle all share the story.
Lincolnshire is also the home of Methodism, so visit the chapels including those of Saltfleetby, Spilsby, Louth and Bardney Dairies to learn more.
Discover for yourself the rich treasures within these living mini museums:
• Lincolnshire’s only thatched church
• Birthplace of Captain John Smith, Governor of Virginia US
• Angel roofs adorned with green men and winged angels
• Tower climbs revealing spectacular views across the Wash
• Birthplace of the architect of Magna Carta
• Oldest Methodist church in Lincolnshire
• Scene of a dramatic tower collapse
• Alfred Lord Tennyson connections
2020 was the most difficult of years with churches closed for long periods of time and unable to raise income from their many activities, including normal collections and the hiring out of buildings, so join in the festival and support as many churches and chapels as you can over these two weekends.
Not only will you be supporting the county’s church heritage, you will also be supporting many of our small villages, helping to ensure the community spirit that binds these rural Lincolnshire villages together stays forever.
Full details of all the churches taking part in the festival are available in the festival brochure, which can be requested through the festival website. Visit www.lincswoldsandcoastchurches.org/
Keep up to date through the Festival’s Facebook page LincsWoldsAndCoastChurches or follow on Twitter @ChurchesFest – and use the hashtag #WoldsAndCoastChurches when talking about the event online.
The Lincolnshire Wolds & Coast Churches Festival is supported by East Lindsey District Council, Visit Lincs Coast and Lincolnshire Methodist District.