West Lindsey's 2018 Open Churches Festival dates are 12-13 & 19-20 May. 90+ buildings, 750 volunteers, all churches free entry. The information below refers to the 2017 festival and has been left in place to give website visitors an idea of what to expect in 2018.

Head to Lincolnshire this May and enjoy one of Britain's biggest free-entry heritage events, with 94 buildings to discover in a stunning rural landscape. 

Now in its 21st year, the West Lindsey Churches Festival sees a host of churches and chapels opening their doors to visitors on the weekends of 13-14 and 20-21 of May.

All churches are free-entry, each building offers a memorable encounter with heritage and architecture, with many located in The Lincolnshire Wolds, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

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The event also brings people together in their rural communities as they plan and prepare for visitors, offering homemade bakes and lunches, bell ringing, crafts, book sales and themed exhibitions such as displays on local history or children’s artwork.

Over 700 volunteers spruce up and open up the buildings, and are on hand to answer questions and point out those quirky details visitors would not want to miss.

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Thanks to the Lincolnshire Organists’ Association, visitors can also enjoy an Organ Trail of 16 live music recitals, spread across the two weekends.

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Other sites, listed as “quiet churches” by the festival, simply open their doors for visitors and let the buildings speak for itself.

The “Stories Unlocked” Project

One of the big themes for 2017 is the festival’s ongoing “Stories Unlocked” project, where the most interesting - and often little known - stories associated with each church are being told. Thirty such tales have already been gathered on the website and will be available to read on paper at participating churches, during the festival

Stories Unlocked so far in these churches include:
  • Gautby’s intriguing Vyer family, with a story that includes kidnapping, ransom and murder
  • 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

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Find out More

Brochures can also be requested by emailing churchesfestival.info@gmail.com.

Click these links to find us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

View our Festival Trailer Below:


  1. Paul Simpson - (Scunthorpe)26 April 2017 at 17:25

    Looking forward to visiting as many of the churches as I can again this year. It's a credit to the organisers and the volunteers that this event takes place each May. Thank you to you all for making your places so accessible.

    1. Thank you Paul, we love seeing your beautiful photographs too! Angela (on behalf of the Churches Festival).


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