Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Churches Festival 2016 Dates



The 21st West Lindsey's Churches Festival will take place in May 2016, with around 80 Lincolnshire churches open to explore.

Dates are

7-8th May - Eastern Churches
14-15th May - Western Churches

This website will be updated in March 2016, but feel free to explore these pages as they go an excellent feel for what the festival will be like.

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Medieval Graffiti Discovered in Lincolnshire During the West Lindsey Churches Festival 2015

One of the many visitors to the 2015 festival were Brian and Christine Porter, of the Lincolnshire Medieval Graffiti Project.

Brian told us: "My wife Christine and I visiting 11 churches, finding graffiti in seven of them. Our project has now recorded graffiti in 60 Lincolnshire churches, plus finding graffiti in another 76 that still need recording; and 500 more churches not yet examined!"

Brian has kindly shared some of the photographs and findings that he and Christine made at the festival.

Fillingham had three examples of the same Mason's mark on the font.
Glentham, very faintly carved 'double-V' marks
which are said to represent the Virgin Mary and ward off evil
Glentworth had very few examples, but included the small
cross previously unseen by the church community!
Holton cum Beckering church had some graffiti, mostly initials and scratches 
that may (or may not!) be graffiti. One patterned symbol was found on the 
south door frame, but what it means is a mystery. Any suggestions?
Northorpe Church has a  Nine Men's Morris almost hidden by
layers of paint, on the south wall window ledge
Northorpe Church also has a particularly interesting
group of hands carved onto one of the North Aisle pillars 
18th Century graffiti at Rand Church, the name "I Bentley Fulnetby 1768". 
Neither of the ladies looking after this church had noticed these graffiti before. Research into parish records may be able to shed light on the illicit carvers.No other graffiti found inside.
Snelland church had a couple of 'double-v' marks outside, 
on the eastern end of the south wall. These symbols are alleged 
to be representative of the Virgin Mary. 

Read more about the graffiti recording project here: http://www.lincolnarchaeology.org.uk/graffiti

This page links you to some of the group's work in surveying the medieval / ancient graffiti found in Lincolnshire churches. Although initially interested only in medieval graffiti (anything up to the end of the 15th century), they have also found lot of more recent graffiti. Whereas medieval graffiti tends to be symbols and images, the post-reformation graffiti is often initials or names.

The 21st West Lindsey's Churches Festival will take place 7-8th and 14-15th May, 2016. There will be over 80 churches will be open across the district, just north of the cathedral city of Lincolnshire. This website will be updated with the 2016 details in March 2016, but please look at the existing pages as they will give a very good idea of what the festival is all about. 

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Organ Trail Huge Success at #ChurchesFest15

We have a wonderful update from one of our organisers Heather Paul on the success of the Organ Trail this year (the trail is made possible by the Lincolnshire Organists Association):

The organ trails proved popular this year.  People turned up ready to sit down to listen rather than just walk round and go.  One of our organists said he had to be careful not to play the same music at different churches as the organ enthusiasts were following him around!  We timed the two recitals (both very different) at Stow to attract diners in after lunch in the Cross Keys, and it seemed to work! Perhaps my poster in the pub helped!

There were good audiences on the second weekend and our organist at Grasby said the church was full as it seems to be every year!


Part of the fun was talking to people who love organs, and some interesting discussions can arise. Also meeting by chance other organists taking the opportunity to play organs in churches normally kept locked. 


At East Barkwith an organist going around with his wife played for about half an hour, ending with a mother and three young children, and a dog on a lead, enjoying "How much is that doggie in the window" and other requests! 


Good to see people enjoying their church visits for many different reasons and going home happy! It really was 2 good weekends!


Liz Harris at Owmby by Spital added that their event was also a success: "Eleven on Saturday seemed to go down very well.  We had quite a turn out for the recital and the organist gave us some details about what he was playing and even played one of his own works.  All in all, a very successful day."

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Tuesday, 19 May 2015

#ChurchesFest15 Our Virtual Visitors' Book

A collection of comments on the 2015 festival that have come to us digitally, from Facebook, Twitter and by email. Thank you everyone who has taken time to let us know their festival experiences. 
If you have any comments to add, please email 
































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Thursday, 14 May 2015

First weekend #ChurchesFest15 a huge success!

Three year old Holly makes her choice at Nettleham Church in the first weekend
Lincolnshire is currently at the halfway point in one of the finest church festivals in Europe, as over 80 places of worship opening their doors as part of the West Lindsey’s Churches Festival, which is now in its 19th year.

Churches to the West of the district have already completed their festival weekend, churches to the East will be open next weekend (16th-17th May).

Feedback from the first weekend has been incredibly positive, with many visitor’s cramming in a huge number of churches in one go. 

Perhaps the most impressive tour so far has been completed by Ben Elliott, using public transport from Sheffield! He commented on Facebook:

“Six churches visited today. Travelled from Sheffield this morning on the 8.44 train to Lincoln, got the 10.30 bus to Cherry Willingham to visit the church there, then walked to Greetwell. Returned to Lincoln for lunch and Eucharist at the Cathedral on the anniversary of its first consecration in 1092, then got the 13.35 bus to Gainsborough to visit St. Thomas of Canterbury RC, All Saints, and St. Paul Morton. Then got the 15.50 bus to Laughton, before returning to Gainsborough to head back to Sheffield.”

Photographer Paul Simpson talked of the classic festival dilemma with his Facebook comment

"I didn't manage as many as I'd hoped for, I think I got to ten in the first weekend. I spent too much time eating cake and buying books and plants from different stalls at various churches. Next week, less cake and more visits. Possibly, as I do like cake..."

And it’s also been a fantastic event so far for the people involved in caring for these churches. Ivan and Wendy Annibal were volunteers at Glentworth and Ivan takes up the story:

"This was the first time in recent years that we have been involved. We love our church and wanted to share its wonderful Christopher Wray tomb with visitors [Chief Justice of England during the reign of Elizabeth I and was the judge that passed sentence on Mary Queen of Scots in 1587]. Little did we know they would share some new insights about St Michael’s with us. 

"Two Glaziers from the Cathedral works department identified the stained glass window at the foot or our Saxon tower as an early piece by Charles Kempe (it has his wheat sheaf signature in the corner) one of the finest Victorian stained glass makers of the 19th century. St Michael’s has one up on the Cathedral itself here which has no glass by Kempe and they were quite jealous! They are going to share a copy of his works catalogue with us which has some more information about the window in it.


The window confirmed as a Kemp at Glentworth, photograph by Julian Guffogg
"Then a former work colleague Brian Porter and his wife Christine turned up. They now spend a lot of their time identifying and recording medieval graffiti. They found a wonderful simple cross on the archway to the Wray chapel in the Church.  Perhaps the first time anyone has seen it for several hundred years as it needed a special torch to help pick it out in its full detail. You can see it clearly with the naked eye once you know it is there though. 


Medieval graffiti confirmed at Glentworth, photo by Brian Porter
(Click this link to can read about the group's work surveying the medieval / ancient graffiti found in Lincolnshire churches. We will report on all their findings during the festival soon)

"Wendy and I were also really impressed by the support given by our fellow villages we had a rota of nine helpers and were surrounded by enough cake and floral displays to fill a smaller church several times over. We had over 100 visitors and raised over £80 in donations for the Church.

"All in all we had a wonderful couple of days and we feel the Church in return shared at least two compelling secrets with us!"

One of the visitors at Glentworth, Julian Guffogg, explains his delight at recognising the Kempe window:

"Myself and Jenny Hannan-Briggs are interested in photographing stained glass windows, we have been for about 18 months now. We have learnt a lot in that short time, and travelled over a wide area to see different windows. We were familiar with Glentworth from the Wray monument.

"We wanted to visit the church to see the stained glass and take photos, and as soon as I walked in I saw the west window, which I recognised as by Charles Eamer Kempe, a noted stained glass artist. His style is unmistakable! The window dates from the 1870s and depicts St Raphael, St Michael with the dragon, and St Gabriel. It is in memory of Charles Flint, a past Vicar.

"The churches festival gave us an opportunity to visit no less than 12 churches across the region - some we were familiar with, but most we wanted to see inside and look at the stained glass."

Next weekend (16-17th May) sees over forty churches open on the East side of the district. Each one is rich in history and It’s all free entry. As well as the rich heritage and beautiful buildings, visitors can enjoy lunches musical recitals, home-made cake, exhibitions and brik-a-brak stalls.

The full list is: Apley, Bardney, Brookenby, Buslingthorpe, Cabourne, Caistor St Peter & St Paul, Caistor Methodist Church, Claxby, Clixby, East Barkwith, Faldingworth, Friesthorpe, Gautby, Grasby, Holton cum Beckering, Holton le Moor, Kingerby, Kirkby cum Osgodby, Langton by Wragby , Legsby, Market Rasen St Thomas, Market Rasen Methodist, Middle Rasen, Nettleton, Normanby le Wold, North Kelsey All Hallows, North Kelsey Methodist, Rand, Riby, Searby cum Owmby, Saxby, Snarford, Snelland, South Kelsey, Southrey, Stainfield, Tealby, Thoresway, Usselby, Walesby All Saints, Walesby St Mary, Wickenby and Wragby.




Free organ recitals are also key to the festival, and this year they are taking place at Faldingworth, All Saints 11am-11.30am, Market Rasen, St Thomas 12.30pm-1pm, Caistor, Methodist 2pm-2.30pm, Grasby, All Saints 3pm to 3.30pm.

For early birds, there are Big Breakfasts in the aisle at Riby St Edmunds on Sunday morning, from 8.30am-11.30am.

Lunches will be served at Bardney, St Lawrence, Caistor, St Peter and Paul, Friesthorpe, St Peter, Legsby, St Thomas, Market Rasen Methodist (Sat only), North Kelsey Methodist, Stainfield, St Andrew and Tealby, All Saints. 

Please take your camera and upload your photos using #ChurchesFest15 on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. 


Connect with our Festival on Facebook and Twitter



Don't forget to upload your photos using
#ChurchesFest15 on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. 

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

"Stories Unlocked" May Churches Festival, West Lindsey, Lincs




LAUNCHING OUR FESTIVAL VIDEO! Just a fraction of the stories our 80+ Lincolnshire churches offer you this May, and it's all free-entry.  Churches in the West open 9th-10th May, in the East 16-17th May. Click here to view our two maps.

.
This May head North of Lincoln and you'll find over 80 churches unlocked. 

Two free weekends of heritage as you ramble across rolling hills. (Click here for A-Z list of churches)


Stop off for delicious home made lunches (click this link for full lunch list)


Seek out 11 musical recitals on our glorious church organs (click this link for full concert list)


And don't forget, we've lots of cake....


Please take your camera and upload your photos using #ChurchesFest15 on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. 


Click here to watch and share the video on Facebook.

STORIES UNLOCKED IN THIS VIDEO (click church name for full details)

  1. Georgian Splendour (Gainsborough All Saints, open 9-10Th May)
  2. Medieval Comedies (Normanby le Wold, open 16 - 17th May)
  3. Elizabethan Romances and Jacobean Tragedies (Snarford, open 16 - 17th May)
  4. Viking villains and Pagan mysteries (Stow Minster, open 9-10Th May)
  5. Victorian heroes (Southrey, open 16 - 17th May)
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Creative work: Push Creativity pushcreativity.co.uk

The festival is sponsored by West Lindsey District Council and Systematic Print



Music: Vivaldi - Bassoon Concerto in A Minor. Source: http://www.gardnermuseum.org/music/listen/music_library




Monday, 27 April 2015

Capture a photographic slice of life in West Lindsey!

Harry (11), Natasha (10) and Ella (12) get snapping near The Viking Way, Walesby

Calling all amateur photographers, wildlife enthusiasts, urban clickers and camera fans. Could you be West Lindsey’s answer to David Bailey? We’re inviting you to get out and about in the district with your camera and share the results! Scroll down for top tips from Church Festival photographer Ashley Taylor of Push Creativity

West Lindsey District Council is launching a new competition for 2015 to tie in with the launch of the West Lindsey Churches Festival on 9 and 10 May and the 16 and 17 May. From 9 May, you can send in your photos.

We’re looking for images which highlight the beauty and variety of our district: from the river Trent to the Wolds, the rivers Fossdyke and Witham to our borders with North Lincolnshire. Take us on a journey through our bustling towns and our beautiful countryside, capturing our unique and charming villages and breath-taking vistas to win some great prizes.

The councils Events Coordinator Andy Deighton says: “Our theme is: ‘Life in West Lindsey’ and we’d love you to send in your entries by 1 September 2015.

“We will share them on our website and Facebook before selecting the 12 most outstanding images to be included in a West Lindsey 2016 calendar. Be as creative as you can, we know our district looks fantastic, just show us it through your eyes!”

You can use any aspect of photography as long as it is your own original work.

Angela Montague of Push Creativity who is helping curate the West Lindsey Churches Festival said: “We’re glad to be part of this photography competition and if it encourages people to start by taking photos at the district’s many churches then that’s fantastic too! West Lindsey has some fantastic vistas as well as some exquisite and unique churches. Getting out and about to show them off is a great idea!”

Push Creativity have also given us the following photographic tips to employ on your snap-happy adventures!


Worm's Eye View - or Bird's Eye View
Worm's/bird’s eye view: Most people take photos from eye level. Often just the simple trick of getting on the floor, or looking down from a high place makes an image stand out because it’s not what you’re used to seeing. When photographing children and animals, why not get on their eye level? It makes the final image much more involved and full of action.  


Leading Lines

Leading lines: Look around you for strong lines in the environment that will lead people into your image. This can be a winding path heading into the distance or the bold lines of the ceiling of a church. Take the photo so that one or more of these lines hits the corner of the image to really draw people into your shot. 


Rule of Thirds grid
Rule of thirds: A lot of cameras will overlay a grid onto your image to help you use the ‘rule of thirds’. Placing the subject along the lines of this grid is a great way to aid the composition of your photo, and break away from the classic approach of placing your subject in the centre of the image.


Story Telling - taken on  iPhone near Willingham Woods, Market Rasen
Story telling: Images that suggest a story, that you could imagine being used for a book cover, always grab attention. A lone figure, not looking at the camera or perhaps even turned away, suggests a mystery. Doors slightly ajar, the corner or a building up ahead, abandoned things, all these make the viewer wonder what has happened, or what will happen next. 


Golden Hour
Golden Hour: Sunrise and sunset bring an unusual light to any scene, and it is well worth travelling to a local beauty spot to capture it at this time. As well as having the place to yourself, the landscape will look more magical than normal, with golden light and long shadows. If you’re lucky, you'll catch a fabulous sky too – one of the things West Lindsey is famous for!

The judging panel will be led by West Lindsey councillors and will include representatives from partner organisations including the Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service, Push Creativity and the University of Lincoln.

How to enter: The West Lindsey District Council Photo Competition is open to amateur photographers only. All entries should be emailed to: photo2016@west-lindsey.gov.uk with a short title, including where in the district it was taken, no later than 1 September 2015 or shared on the West Lindsey District Council Facebook page.

Entries via post should be of good quality and addressed to: West Lindsey Photo Competition, Guildhall, Marshall’s Yard, Gainsborough, DN21 2NA.

A high-resolution copy, (at least 1mb) must be available should you be selected for the calendar’s shortlist.

By sharing an image you are certifying that you have the rights to distribute your picture. In order to qualify for calendar entry you will be asked to supply your name, address and a telephone number. By submitting your images you also consent to West Lindsey District Council using these images for its own publicity.

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