with a page dedicated to each church.
She also explained how this year she has asked the churches to look into their histories: “New for 2016 is our ‘Stories Unlocked’ theme, and there’s local intrigue and mystery aplenty as we uncover some hidden stories that our churches have kept so secret over many years!”
• Gautby’s intriguing Vyer family, with a story that includes kidnapping, ransom and murder
• Snelland’s vicar Thomas Retford and his involvement in the Lincolnshire Uprising
• Scotton’s convict William Jacklin who was transported to Australia and became a founder of the first Presbyterian church in the town of Ebenezer
• Kettlethorpe’s association with Katherine Swynford, the 3rd wife of John of Gaunt, well known from Anya Seton’s famous novel Katherine
• Thoresway and the mystery of the Pagan drowning pool
• Scothern and the hidden treasure of the Abbot of Barlings Abbey
These stories will be appearing on the festival website in the run up to the event, and available to read in the churches when people visit.
Festival chair Paul Howitt-Cowan commented on the festival's continued success: “Last year visitor numbers had increased by 1,536 to 7,229, and volunteer numbers were up from 456 to 639 – 183 more. With a record 94 churches taking part this year, we hope these figures will go up again and I encourage everyone to get involved: these buildings really are little gems of heritage, scattered across Lincolnshire."
Visitors are asked to upload their photos to the hashtag #ChurchestFest16 so they can be shared by the festival. Printed brochures are also in libraries and tourist information centers in Lincolnshire, and can be posted out on request, by sending name and address details to email@example.com.
The festival is sponsored by West Lindsey District Council and Systematic Print Management.