West Lindsey Churches Festival

by | 3 May 2024 | Community Event, Community facility, Gainsborough, Heritage

Lovers of heritage and history can enjoy two weekends of experiences, completely free of charge, as 88 historic churches and chapels invite them to pay a visit this May.

The West Lindsey Churches Festival (now in its 27th year) offers visitors buildings located across the stunning landscape, over 11th and 12th May in the east of the district and over 18th and 19th May to the west.

Each church offers a unique experience, that could include stunning architecture, stained glass, fascinating wood carvings, historic monuments, graveyards full of stories and traditional church organs.

And alongside all that heritage and landscape is the welcome church volunteers bring to the event, including their knowledge of local history, delicious homemade cakes and lunches, plant and book sales, flower displays, exhibitions and bell ringing.

Anyone interested in a spot of “church crawling” this May (the name given to the hobby of visiting churches!) should visit the website www.churchesfestival.info. Here are some of our local churches taking part:

Behind the wall – St Mary’s Church, Knaith

Open 10.00am to 4.00pm on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th May

Have you ever wondered what’s behind the wall on the bends at Knaith on the Gainsborough-to-Lincoln road A156? Now’s your chance to find out!

St Mary’s is located at the bottom of a tree-lined drive where you can park with ease and take a stroll with lovely views of gardens and glimpses of the River Trent to step inside what is known as ‘a little gem of a church’.

Discover stories of its curious and intriguing 12-century history, explore its unique Gothic font and Jacobean pulpit and its unusual altar Baldacchino, and enjoy the simple peace of St Mary’s with a refreshing cuppa and a slice of homemade cake.

St Paul’s Church, Morton

Open 10.00am to 4.00pm on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th May

View its collection of 10 windows designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, who worked on them with William Morris, a William Morris carpet, a font of Frosterley marble, surmounted by a fine carved oak canopy. and the Augustus Gern organ built in 1891.

A display of wedding gowns and accessories, wedding invitations and order of service and photographs of weddings held at St Paul’s over the decades will be on display over the weekend and delicious refreshments will be served.

All Saint’s Church, Gainsborough

Open 10.00am to 4.00pm on Saturday 18th and 12.00pm to 4.00pm on Sunday 19th May

For Georgian splendour look no further than the majestic All Saints at Gainsborough with its magnificent interior including a copy of Da Vinci’s The Last Supper behind the altar.

Quaker Meeting Room, Market Street, Gainsborough

Open 10.00am to 4.00pm on Saturday 18th May only

Take some time out of a busy lifestyle and relax in a quiet oasis of calm at one of the festival’s ‘quiet’ churches.

St Radegund’s Church, Grayingham

Open 9.30am to 4.30pm on Saturday 18th and 10.00am to 4.00pm on Sunday 19th May

Displays of the church and vicars will be on show and there will be refreshments throughout both days.

St Thomas of Canterbury Church, Cross Street, Gainsborough

Open 9.00am to 5.00pm on Saturday 18th and 10.30am to 5.00pm on Sunday 19th May

A hidden gem in Gainsborough decorated in the Pugin style. The church has a WWI memorial originally designed by Karl Wood and during the festival there will be a period costume exhibition featuring clothing from the 18th century onwards.

The festival is active on Facebook and Twitter (X), and asks visitors to share their images using the hashtag #LoveLincsChurches throughout the two weekends.