2020 West Lindsey Churches Festival

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT "Due to Government advice in regards to the Coronavirus epidemic, the West Lindsey Churches Festival will be cancelled for 2020. We very much hope that the festival will resume once again in 2021. Thank you to all church stewards, committee and all our lovely visitors for your support in this decision.” Paul Howitt-Cowan,  Chair, West Lindsey Churches Festival Committee

Welcome to the 2020 West Lindsey Churches Festival...

And what a glorious celebration is on offer as we share with you the Adventurers and Pilgrims from our area. Firstly, 2020 is the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower Pilgrims, who set sail from Plymouth in 1620 to start life in the New World. Several of the early Separatists came from our region. The United Reformed Church, Gainsborough was built as a memorial to John Robinson, pastor of the Mayflower Pilgrims and this year’s exhibition is worthy of a visit. St Michael’s Glentworth and St Lawrence, Snarford also have Mayflower connections.

The Mayflower Room at Gainsborough United Reformed Church
Another celebration during 2020 is that of St Hugh – canonised in 1220 and having strong links with Stow Minster and Lincoln Cathedral. Stow also celebrates their connections with Thomas Becket during this year’s festival. It is 800 years since his body was enshrined in a glittering crypt at
Canterbury.

Stow Minster

The latest news from Stow Minster is very exciting: "St Mary's has commissioned a play to be written and this will be performed on Sunday 17th May followed by Evensong in St Mary’s. uring the Saturday we will be having actors milling around the church to engage with visitors and act little vignettes of what is to come on Sunday. We also hope for musicians to provide background music of the era and refreshments will be served after the service of Evensong on Sunday"

Why not follow in the footsteps of St Oswald from Rand, via Stainfield with its connections with the Benedictine nunnery, to St Lawrence church, Bardney. Here you can explore the connection between Venerable Bede, St Oswald and Bardney Abbey. There really is 1400 years of English history in
this one building!

St Lawrence Church Bardney
Or visit Holy Rood, Market Rasen or St Peter’s Bishop Norton, to immerse yourself in their
themed pilgrimages around the church.

We also have two pilgrimage trails for you to enjoy. Fiskerton, Greetham, Reepham and Cherry Willingham offer the chance to walk their route, taking in the sweeping Witham valley scenery.

St Peter & St Paul, Cherry Willingham

Alternatively, the Trent Pilgrimage Trail from Newton to Knaith tells the tales of John of Gaunt, Katherine Swynford and other hidden secrets.

If you dig deep enough we are sure you could find an adventurer in every church in the festival. Who was Henry Dudding of St Edmunds at Riby? or Anne Ayscough of St Mary & St Nicholas at South Kelsey? Pay a visit and find out!

Once again we also have an abundance of organ music being played over the two weekends, courtesy of the Lincolnshire Organists Association.

And our sconeathon also returns with participating churches listed here.

Big Breakfasts at Riby St Edmunds
Together with refreshments and lunches being served at many of our churches, you will not go hungry!

So, why not make your own pilgrimage over the two weekends and see how many of the churches you can visit in 2020. Not only are you supporting our church heritage but you are also supporting many of our small villages, and this support will help ensure that the lovely community spirit that binds these rural Lincolnshire villages together stays forever.

Every church really does have a story to tell…

For daily updates in the run up to the festival, click these links to find us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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