Take a break from the hustle and bustle of every day life and step into the past with the annual West Lindsey Churches Festival.
This year, 94 of the area’s magnificent buildings will open their doors over two weekends in what is the 20th anniversary year for the event.
“These buildings really are little gems of heritage, scattered across Lincolnshire” said Festival chair Paul Howitt-Cowan.
The free-entry event invites visitors to enjoy the rich heritage each church offers, alongside a host of activities, with 24 churches offering lunches, one offering “Breakfast in the Aisle” (Riby), 19 offering music recitals, plus bell ringing, crafts, book sales, art displays and themed exhibitions.
“Many of the churches are still the focal point of our villages and will provide you with an insight into the history and life of their parishes,” said Festival organiser Linda Patrick.
“Others offer a vibrant collection of stained glass, architecture, carvings and artefacts; some of our smaller churches open their doors simply to provide an oasis of peace and spirituality.”
She also explained how this year she has asked the churches to look into their histories: “New for 2016 is our ‘Stories Unlocked’ theme, and there’s local intrigue and mystery aplenty as we uncover some hidden stories that our churches have kept so secret over many years.”
More than 30 churches have dug into the archives and put forward a huge variety of stories.
At Gautby, the intrigue of the Vyer family includes kidnapping, ransom and murder.
Visit Thoresway for the mystery of the Pagan drowning pool or Scothern for the hidden treasure of the Abbot of Barlings Abbey.
There is also a missing cook at Riby, convict transportation at Scotten and a connection between a vicar and the Duke of Wellington’s horse at Market Rasen.
The stories will be appearing on the festival website in the run up to the event, and will also be available to read in the churches.
This year the festival takes place on May 7 and 8, for churches to the East of the district, and May 14 and 15 for those in the west.
Full details can be found on the website www.churchesfestival.info with a page dedicated to each church.