A warm welcome and the chance to discover history and architecture is being offered to visitors at the 22nd annual West Lindsey Churches Festival, where a record 100 churches and chapels will be open to the public, free of charge.
The festival is one of the largest of its type in Europe and regularly attracts around 10,000 visitors to the area. Taking place over two weekends, the festival happens on 12th and 13th May and 19th and 20th May.
Those paying a visit will experience the rich architecture, history and heritage of these culturally important buildings.
West Lindsey District Council’s Councillor Paul Howitt-Cowan, chair of the festival, said: “This year we are commemorating both 100 years since the formation of the Royal Air Force and a century since the end of World War One.
“West Lindsey is an area with a rich aviation heritage and a strong association with the RAF. During World War Two there were 13 airbases in the district, although only one now remains active at Scampton. However, there is plenty of evidence of the RAF’s existence and none more so than in the area’s churches.
Many of the churches open over the two weekends feature memorials, plaques, stained glass, gravestones and other artefacts that will be highlighted. A full list of churches open and their display, can be found at www.churchesfestival.info. We’ll also be uploading all the open churches on our events calendar at www.gainsboroughlife.com.
Those open include:
Willingham by Stow — St Helen
10.00am to 4.00pm on Friday 18th May, Saturday 19th May and Sunday 20th May
Enjoy displays celebrating 100 years since the end of WWI and 100 years of the RAF. There will be an interesting exhibition from Heroes of the Airfields along with local WWI memorabilia, a colourful and moving community poppy display and much more. Refreshments and light lunches will be served each day. Admission is free. There will also be a concert given by The Beevor Band, Lincoln, on Saturday 19th May in the church, starting at 7.30pm Tickets cost £8.00, including a glass of wine and nibbles.
Gainsborough United Reformed Church
10.00am to 4.00pm on Saturday 19th May and 2.00pm to 4.00pm on Sunday 20th May
During the festival, there will also be an exhibition commemorating the centenary of the end of WWI, including memorabilia, photographs and art. Organ music will be played on the impressive pipe organ from 10.00am to 11.00am and from 2.00pm to 2.30pm on Saturday and from 2.00pm to 3.00pm on Sunday and there will be a programme of entertainment at 7.00pm on Saturday evening. Entry is free, with any donations to church funds. Tea/coffee and cake will be served throughout the weekend, with a Big Cake Sale starting on Saturday morning.
Grayingham — St Radegund
From 10.00am on Saturday 19th May and Sunday 20th May
See information and photos of the village, a WW1 display, play the Benjamin Flight recently restored organ and enjoy our sandwiches made with local produce. A concert will be held on Friday 18th May at 7.00pm with Holy Trinity Hand Bell ringers and the Singing for Pleasure Choir. Tickets are £5.00 and available on the door.
Blyton — St Martin
10.00am to 4.30pm on Saturday 19th May and 10.30am to 4.00pm on Sunday 20th May
There will be a display commemorating the ending of WWI and the 100 year anniversary of the Royal Air Force. As well as the arts and crafts stalls, there will be a grand raffle and tombola, as well as cake stalls. Refreshment will also be available and the children from Blyton cum Laughton CofE School will be opening proceedings with a song, and will also have a display of crafts in church. If you’d like a craft stall in church call Mrs P Kirkby on 01427 628489.