All about the 2019 West Lindsey Churches Festival

The 2019 festival is now over, but event details have been left on this website to give a taste of what's on offer in 2020, when the festival will return on 9-10th and 16-17th May. Theme: Adventurers & Pilgrims. This website will update in March 2020. 

Welcome to West Lindsey’s 2019 Churches Festival – a celebration of rich architecture and heritage, of beautiful tranquillity and spirituality, and a welcoming oasis of peace that all our churches offer. 

This year 95 churches are participating over the two weekends. Numerous exciting activities are taking place for you to enjoy including our first ever Sconeathon!!! Take a look on the Sconeathon Page to read which churches have taken up the challenge to create the most appetising scones for you to savour! 

The first weekend takes place in the west of the area and what a treat our churches have in store for you. Visit Bishop Norton to view their unique exhibition featuring work of local and well known writers. 

Our churches in Gainsborough are opening their doors also. With its Georgian style and magnificent interior, All Saints church cannot fail to impress. This year the church celebrates the role of women in society over the last century. And at St Thomas of Canterbury you can sample a variety of teas whilst viewing their display of textiles. 

At Grayingham there is the chance to discover the history of a church that was… 1977 saw the closure of the church in the neighbouring hamlet of Manton. Archives, pictures and records of the church and its past rectors will be displayed. 

One of the highlights during week two has to be the “Abbots Treasure Hunt” taking place around 6 churches in Bardney, Southrey, Stainfield, Apley, Minting and Gautby. What's the story? "The Abbot of Bardney has lost his cross. Can you help him find it? Reward offered. Join us as we search for the Abbots “lost” cross in the Six Churches of the United Parish of Bardney (Apley, Bardney, Gautby, Minting, Southrey and Stainfield). May 18 & 19 (between 10.30 and 4.00) Clue Packs are available in each of the churches. Then travel around each church solving clues and answering questions Each church will have its own displays, refreshments available. Clue Packs will cost £4 and entries must be on the official form. First correct answer form drawn on the 21st May will win this Sterling Silver Cross. Hand made by a local Jeweller."

We also have the youngest church in the district opening its doors this year. Only one year old as a place of worship, the New Life Church in Market Rasen was once a former social club. It has now been transformed into a thriving worship centre, and this year is holding a “Talking Pictures” exhibition. 

And nearby in the village of Tealby, All Saints will be celebrating the “heritage of paper making” with floral artwork.

And as usual, many churches will be serving refreshments to help nourish you on your visits. These vary from tea, coffee and biscuits to Ploughman lunches, bacon butties, even traditional full cooked English Breakfasts. Many of our churches are offering lunches, including Christian Aid lunches at Caistor Methodist Church. See our food web page for details of the lunches available.   

You can also read about the Sconeathon on the ExploreChurches website here:

Take part in the #LincsSCONEathon with West Lindsey Churches Festival

Love scones? Then you will love travelling around the area visiting some of the many churches that are taking part in the West Lindsey Churches Festival's first ever “Sconeathon!”

To celebrate the event's 23rd year, scones of every variety are being freshly baked for visitors to sample, in around half of the churches taking part. Unusual scone combinations, such as chilli and chocolate, will be on offer along with those created from secret family recipes and, of course, the classic fruit or cheese varieties.

The Sconetahon challenge to the festival visitor is to taste as many types of scones as you can over the four days, sharing photos in social media using the hashtag #LincsSconeathon.

Highlights include

Riby St Edmund "Scone Off" on 18th May

Try your hand at baking four scones in the category you wish to enter and our panel of judges will select a winner from each category. Choose and enter one or more of the following:

• Traditional Scone
• Signature Scone
• Children’s Scone (under 12 years)

Bring your baked scones between 12.30pm-3pm for judging at 3.30pm.

Willingham by Stow, St Helen, Scone Weekend
  • Scone Recipe Book
  • Display of a variety of scones
  • Exhibition on the production of the basic scone ingredients from local sources
  • Scones and cream teas.
Plus twice baked and gluten-free scones at St Mary's, Claxby.

Scones originated in Scotland, in the early 1500s, when they were made with oats and baked on a griddle. They became popular and an essential part of the fashionable ritual of taking tea in England when Anna, the Duchess of Bedford (1788 – 1861), one late afternoon, ordered the servants to bring tea and some sweet breads, which included scones. She was so delighted by this, that she ordered it every afternoon and what now has become an English tradition is the “Afternoon Tea Time,” precisely at 4pm.

We have challenged our churches to partake in this “sconeathon” and see how many different varieties they can come up with.

Churches taking part in Sconeathon are

11-12 May 2019

Blyborough, St Alkmund
Blyton, St Martin
Brattleby, St Cuthbert
Cherry Willingam, St Peter & St Paul
Corringham, St Lawrence
Gainsborough, All Saints
Gainsborough, United Reformed
Glentworth, St Michael
Grayingham, St Radegund
Hackthorn, St Michael & All Angels
Kettlethorpe, St Peter & St Paul
Knaith, St Mary
Messingham, Holy Trinity
Morton, St Paul
Nettleham, All Saints
Pilham, All Saints
Reepham, St Peter & St Paul
Saxby, St Helen
Scampton, St John the Baptist
Scotter, St Peter
Scotton, St Genewys
Willingham by Stow, St Helen

18-19 May 2019

Claxby, St Mary
Cuxwold, St Nicholas
East Barkwith, St Mary
Grasby, All Saints
Hainton, St Mary
Holton cum Beckering, All Saints
Market Rasen, Holy Rood
Market Rasen, New Life
Nettleton, St John the Baptist
Rand, St Oswald
Riby, St Edmunds
Snelland, All Saints
Stainfield, St Andrew
Swallow, Holy Trinity
Tealby, All Saints
Thoresway, St Mary
Wickenby, St Peter & St Lawrence
Wragby, All Saints
Wragby, Methodist

Market Rasen • New Life Church

New Life Church, Market Rasen
Just a year old as a place of worship, visit a church with a difference. See how this former social club has been transformed into New Life Church Centre. With its own car park and excellent disabled access, enjoy a “Talking Pictures” exhibition of prophetic art, tours of the building as well as tea and scones in the Eden Cafe. Some activities available for children too. It’s a hub for the whole community.

Postcode: LN8 3ARclick here to find on Google Maps

Open: 18-19th May, Saturday 10am-4pm Sunday 2


Facebook page: Market Rasen New Life Facebook

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Blyborough • St Alkmund

Blyborough - St Alkmund by  Ian S and
 licensed for 
reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
A church is first documented in the Domesday Book of 1086. St Alkmund’s was built in the early 13th century and partly rebuilt in 1877 by James Fowler of Louth using some of the medieval stonework. It is Grade I listed with a 20th century font, a chapel within the church, unusual stained glass windows and porch. It is dedicated to the Anglo Saxon, Saint Alkmund of Derby. Flower festival and refreshments to raise funds for the church’s ongoing repairs. Bellringing during the weekend.

Postcode: DN21 4HBclick here to find on Google Maps

Visit this church's page on the Explore Churches website here:

Open: 11th-12th May, Saturday 10am-4pm Sunday 

Get Involved and Spread the Word!

Click these links to find us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

Get the latest news about the festival on email - subscribe to our newsletter - it's free and easy to do, and easy to cancel if you change your mind. Click here to Subscribe to The Churches Festival Blog by Email.

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