Over 90 historic churches, located across the stunning landscape of West Lindsey are waiting to welcome visitors over two weekends: 7th and 8th May and 14th and 15th May.
The message is clear: welcome back to this year’s Churches Festival, and what a glorious celebration is on offer as the people who care for these churches come together after two years of absence due to the pandemic.
Explore these landmarks in our communities, while enjoying the events, exhibitions and celebrations that many churches host during their opening for the festival. Every one of these churches is waiting to share its story with you.
Organiser Linda Patrick sums up the feelings of many involved: “The last two years have been most difficult. Churches were 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 please join in and celebrate this festival and support as many churches and chapels as you can over the two weekends. Not only will you be supporting our church heritage, you will also be supporting many of our small villages, helping to ensure that the lovely community spirit that binds these rural Lincolnshire towns and villages together stays forever.”
The festival’s website can be found at www.churchesfestival.info/ where every church taking part has its own page. The festival is active on Facebook and Twitter, and asks visitors to share their images using the hashtag #LoveLincsChurches throughout the two weekends.
Those open include:
Willingham by Stow
St Helen DN21 5JY
10.00am to 4.00pm on Friday 13th May, Saturday 14th May and Sunday 15th May
See displays from various organisations in the village as well as local handmade silver jewellery. Breakfast baps will be served from 10.00am to 11.00am, salad lunches will be available from 12.00pm to 2.00pm and tea, coffee and cakes will be available throughout each day. There will also be a sales table including cakes, plants and a raffle. On the Saturday there will be a concert of music and entertainment starting at 7.00pm in the church. Tickets costing £7.00 available on the door to include a glass of wine and light refreshments.
Gainsborough United Reformed Church
10.00am to 2.00pm on Saturday 14th May and 2.00pm to 4.00pm on Sunday 15th May
The only United Reformed Church in West Lindsey and a fine example of late Victorian architecture. It is set within the Gainsborough Conservation Area and was built in 1896 / 7 as a memorial to John Robinson, the ‘pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers’. The church’s Mayflower Room contains a fascinating all age exhibition telling the story of John Robinson and the Pilgrims and the history surrounding the building of the church and a booklet is available at a cost of £3.00. The two manual pipe organ built by Forster and Andrews is an instrument of national heritage importance. Tea and coffee available all weekend.
St Paul DN21 2JR
10.00am to 4.00pm on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th May
Follow the journey of St Paul, Pilgrim and adventurer. Learn about the man and his life story and then continue your journey round the labyrinth reading passages from his letters that Paul wrote on his journeys. In addition, discover the church’s history, try a variety of homemade scones, enjoy displays and go along to an Organ Recital on the Saturday at 3.00pm by Malcolm Pentelow and Julian Aistrup on the Agustus Gern organ installed in 1891.
Gainsborough All Saints
10.00am to 4.00pm on Saturday 14th and 12.00pm to 4.00pm Sunday 15th May
A very different Georgian style church with medieval tower and a magnificent interior. The altar piece is a copy of the Da Vinci painting of The Last Supper. The organ is a 3 manual Walker (1906). See too, the beautiful stained glass and a display depicting connections with the Pilgrim Fathers as well as John Wesley and his family.