18 May 2017
The West Lindsey Churches Festival continues this weekend (20th–21st May 2017), with 45 churches open to the eastern side of the district. Churches open over the coming weekend cover a wide area, reaching as far as Brocklesby and Riby to the north, Southrey and Bardney to the south, Kingerby and Snarford to the west and Tealby and Brookenby to the east.
The following article, which sets the scene for this year’s festival, was published in the March/April 2017 issue of Crosslincs...
The month of May sees the West Lindsey Churches Festival mark its 21st year, and the great success of this event has inspired two new events in the diocese for later this year...
One of the big attractions of the West Lindsey Churches Festival, writes Angela Montague, is a chance to enjoy delicious homemade food in the relaxing surroundings of a church or chapel. The festival sees 95 buildings opening to visitors across the district, over the two weekends of 13–14th and 20th–21st of May. More than 700 volunteers are involved in the sharing of their local churches, and last year the festival attracted an impressive 10,123 visitors.
Over 70 of the churches will be offering refreshments, with 25 set to serve meals. St Radegund in Grayingham invites you to ‘enjoy a large bap filled with your choice of local produce’ on the 13th and 14th; St Mary’s Church at Thoresway will be offering traditional farmhouse teas and light lunches over the 20th and the 21st, and fresh Beef rolls will be available at St Thomas’ Church in Legsby on Sunday 21st. But it’s not just about ‘doing lunch’. St Edmund’s in Riby will offer a Big Breakfast in the Aisle on Sunday, 21st May, from 8.30–11.30am. Volunteer Sally Vergette, speaking with reference to the popularity of last year’s event, has said, “We served 150 breakfasts in three hours and sold lots of plants, second-hand books, bric-a-brac, local asparagus and cakes. We had lots of wonderful helpers and raised over £1500.”
Thanks to the Lincolnshire Organists’ Association, visitors to this year’s festival will also be able to enjoy an Organ Trail of 16 live music recitals, spread across the two weekends. Full details of all churches offering lunches and recitals are at www.churchesfestival.info, with brochures to be found in libraries, Tourist Information Centres and participating churches. They may also be obtained by sending a request by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Preparations are also well under way for the first Open Churches Weekend to feature every church in the Deanery of Horncastle. To be held during the Heritage Open weekend over 9–10th September 2017, the Revd Sue Allison has said, “We are really excited about this new venture. It is fantastic partnership working within our deanery, and a wonderful way for us all to show off the treasures to be found within our churches to the rest of the world.”
It is envisaged that all 54 churches will participate in what is expected to be a fun-filled friendly event. The variety of churches in the deanery is vast, from St Margaret’s Church at Bucknall to the large medieval Perpendicular church of Holy Trinity in Tattershall and the unique ‘little old England’-style church at Southrey, which was featured in the March/April issue of Crosslincs. More details will appear in the coming months on the festival website at horncastlechurchesfestival.co.uk
The same weekend will also see the first Holland Places of Worship Festival. Further details will follow as the event draws near, but information on some of the venues set to take part may be found at www.hollandpowf.org.uk
A short promotional film for the West Lindsey Churches Festival is available to view on YouTube here.