Church festival success rolls out

Treasures will be revealed in the Great Expectations project
Treasures will be revealed in the Great Expectations project

The continuing success of the West Lindsey Churches Festival is leading to other areas taking up the gauntlet to celebrate the county’s historic buildings.

Last year saw churches in the Horncastle Deanery hold their own weekend event and now a Lottery grant is helping to build on the stories behind the buildings even more.

Bardney Church is one of the 36 to be included in the National Churches Trust project

Bardney Church is one of the 36 to be included in the National Churches Trust project

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has granted £48,800 has to the National Churches Trust, the UK’s church support charity, for the ‘Great Interpretations’ project.

Claire Walker, chief executive of the National Churches Trust, said: “I am delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has supported the Great Interpretations project in Lincolnshire.

“Churches, chapels and meeting houses are so important to towns and villages across Lincolnshire and are treasure troves of history and heritage.

“Local people across Lincolnshire will be able to shout out with pride about their fascinating historic churches.

“The project will also inspire visitors from across the UK to come and discover the county’s fabulous heritage and help boost the local economy.”

Thanks to players of the National Lottery, Great Interpretations will help people get to know their churches, record priceless treasures and promote their heritage to audiences far and wide.

Some of the treasures include: the oldest working Methodist chapel in the country at Raithby; the Grade II listed St Benedict’s Church at Scrivelsby, which dates back to the 13th century and was historically linked to the Dymoke ‘Champions to the Sovereign’ family and St Lawrence’s church, Bardney, a Grade I listed 15th-century church built on the site of a Saxon abbey.

High quality videos and photos will be professionally produced for the churches, and will be accessible on the National Churches Trust’s church tourism website, ExploreChurches.

There will also be training sessions to help people who care for churches better promote their buildings, including training on church tourism, interpretation, publicity, photography, film making and more.

Online recordings of the training will be available afterwards for other churches to share.

Guided walks and a coach trip will also be offered to show off the beauty of Lincolnshire’s churches to as many people as possible.

Meanwhile, this year’s West Lindsey Churches Festival will take place over two weekends - May 12/13 and May 19/20.