BBC Lincolnshire reports on our ArChWay Heritage Churches Project

31 Mar 2011

This flagship, rural development initiative is a 3-year visitor development project that focuses on revealing an undiscovered heritage in the relatively undiscovered landscape gem of east Lincolnshire.

Covering a cluster of fourteen Grade I and II* Listed historic churches in our care, the project involves a package of actions on community arts development and community engagement; visitor interpretation; marketing; signposting and conservation/repairs.

The project’s aim is to increase visitor numbers by developing the churches as a resource for local artists and arts groups and by opening visitors’ eyes to the amazing original art - carvings, wall paintings and stained glass, within the buildings.

The churches will be offered as venues for arts or literature groups to meet, to hold exhibitions and to stage music, dance or theatre events.

Partnerships and volunteering

Links will be developed with local universities and colleges and opportunities will be provided to enable volunteers to take part in the activities on offer. The project will also work with existing local tourism initiatives like Wolds Words, the Festival of Bathing Beauties, the Wolds Walking Festival and Heritage Open Days to develop an annual programme of events.

Long term benefits

In the longer term it is hoped to establish a long-running volunteer team and a self-sustaining annual arts festival at the churches. This could be an annual programme of music recitals, art exhibitions, theatre, crafts fairs or literature events.

The project includes the following CCT churches: Burwell, Goltho, Great Steeping, Haltham-on-Bain, Haugham, Kingerby, Little Cawthorpe, North Cockerington, Saltfleetby, Skidbrooke, South Somercotes, Theddlethorpe, Waithe and Yarburgh.

The project is jointly funded by The Churches Conservation Trust and the Rural Development Programme for England via the Lincolnshire Action Groups – the Coastal Action Zone and the Lindsey Action Zone.