Picture gallery: Visitors flock to churches festival

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The West Lindsey Open Churches Festival saw visitors flock to the area over the past two weekends to discover the heritage behind more than 80 church doors - from the tiny chapel at Spital in the Street to the magnificent church at Stow.

Many churches had special displays, many depicting life in this agricultural county, including St Nicholas at Cabourne where the story of wool, and in particular the Lincolnshire Longwool, was told.

The story of wool and Lincolnshire's own breed the Longwool was told at Cabourne Church, with the help of Pauline Johnson and Michael Bridgestock EMN-150518-093038001

The story of wool and Lincolnshire's own breed the Longwool was told at Cabourne Church, with the help of Pauline Johnson and Michael Bridgestock EMN-150518-093038001

And many churches welcomed visitors with a true taste of the county with delicious homemade cakes and more.

One of those taking part was St Radegund Church at Grayingham who reported a high number of visitors, with people popping in to have a look at 16 Parish records, a copy of the Magna Carta and to play their beautifully restored church organ.

“We saw some familiar faces return to partake in our freshly made lunches, which included produce from Uncle Henry’s Farm Shop. Many, many thanks to everyone who was involved,” said church spokesman Cressida Marshall.

This year, organisers set up a festival blog, which attracted many comments - it can be seen at www.churchesfestival.info/2015/05/churchesfest15-our-virtual-visitors-book.html

And the organ trail proved very popular, made possible by the Lincolnshire Organists Association).

“People turned up ready to sit down to listen rather than just walk round and go,” said one of the organisers Heather Paul.

“One of our organists said he had to be careful not to play the same music at different churches as the organ enthusiasts were following him around!

“We timed the two recitals (both very different) at Stow to attract diners in after lunch in the Cross Keys, and it seemed to work! Perhaps my poster in the pub helped!

“There were good audiences on the second weekend and our organist at Grasby said the church was full as it seems to be every year.

“Part of the fun was talking to people who love organs, and some interesting discussions can arise. Also meeting by chance other organists taking the opportunity to play organs in churches normally kept locked.

“At East Barkwith an organist going around with his wife played for about half an hour, ending with a mother and three young children, and a dog on a lead, enjoying “How much is that doggie in the window” and other requests!”