Some of the many reasons visitors flock to the festival

Long-time visitor Lexie Brookes-Ashmore, from Caistor, says she enjoys the graveyards as well as the churches: “I have been visiting the churches festival since 2012, so this will be my 12th year! My best friend and I cancel all other plans for the festival (plus the September one) and always end the day with a picnic. We love the architecture and history as well as the many interesting graves.”

Beth Sliwinski from Sheffield: "If ever a reason is needed to visit beautiful Lincolnshire, this is it. Every church provides its own treats - interesting architecture, friendly volunteers, delicious refreshments, picturesque churchyards - even the drives from one church to the next are a pleasure."

Visitor Patrick Flynn explained how the opportunity to play many of the church organs was a highlight for him and his friend: "We travel from Hull and visit on one of the days each weekend. My friend is a professional organist and usually plays all the available instruments and we plan our route beforehand. We enjoy the festival very much indeed."

Sheffield visitor Cath Mirfin offered her recommendation to people considering taking part this year: “Whether you love visiting a new church, finding out about the building’s history or just admiring the architecture this is the festival for you. Everyone we met were very friendly and full of interesting info. And some churches have fabulous cakes! We put it in our diary every year and make it a long weekend at the East coast.”

Visitor Angela Mayne from Middle Rasen explains her reasons for taking part: “I love taking pictures in Churches, so during the festival makes my job a lot more interesting. People looking round the displays in the Churches makes for good photography.”

Sue Toogood from Lincoln told us: "We have our favourite churches but try to ‘bag’ a new one every year - getting more difficult now after so many seasons!"

Chris Gale, also from Sheffield, combines visiting her brother Andy (who lives in Lincolnshire) with church visits. "We always take time to visit the church festivals, last year we took the family’s Sealyham terrier Arthur who really enjoyed it, especially the ham sandwiches at Stainfield. This is an unusual Queen Anne-style church next to the Manor House in a tiny village that you would never know was there! The festival helps you discover some hidden gems in Lincolnshire."

Gillian Poucher (Wolds based author and URC minister) wrote: "May Churches Festival celebrates the rich variety of churches across our district, from ancient to modern, peaceful to vibrant, in hamlets, villages and market towns. The Festival offers something for everyone: opportunities for reflection in the Quiet Churches, enjoyment of organ and other music, fascinating heritage displays, and of course many cups of tea and mouth watering cakes!

Lincoln-based Tracey Kidner explains how much the event means to her.“Always a highlight of my year: such a delight to explore our beautiful county and discover our shared history and heritage. Plus amazing cakes!”

Sally Vergette from Grimsby: "The very many different architectures of the churches amaze us. The volunteers are so enthusiastic and informative and the displays are imaginative. We love it."

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