Welcome to the second Lincolnshire Wolds & Coast Churches Festival. And we are delighted that, following the lockdown of the last year and a half, 130 churches and chapels are opening their doors over the first two weekends in September to offer a warm welcome to all.
There is a church to suit everyone’s tastes: some are simple church buildings serving small hamlets tucked into the Wolds landscapes, others are buildings of larger stature serving our market towns. But all share one thing in common – a desire to show off their treasures and tell their stories.
The first weekend enjoys the delights of seaside churches including Skegness, Sutton on Sea and Chapel St Leonards, discover how the encroaching sea actually forced some of our coastal churches to move inland. Travel through the flatlands passing delicious Wolds villages to reach Alford St Wilfrid and its associations with Captain John Smith, one of the founders of Jamestown, USA in 1607, and then Louth St James and its graceful spire, a visible landmark for miles around.
Week two contains churches steeped in history, with connections to more famous Lincolnshire explorers – St James Spilsby and Sir John Franklin, St Lawrence Revesby and Sir Joseph Banks. Or follow in the footsteps of the brave people who partook in the Lincolnshire Rising; churches at Snelland, Belchford and Horncastle all share the story.
Lincolnshire is also the home of Methodism. Please do visit the chapels including Saltfleet, Spilsby, Louth and Bardney Dairies to name but a few.
Last year was the most difficult of years. 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 the festival and support as many churches and chapels as you can over these 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 villages together stays forever.
You should be able to pick up a brochure in the first church you visit!