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This year’s West Lindsey Churches Festival set to be bigger than ever

All Saints in Gainsborough
All Saints in Gainsborough

This year’s 22nd annual West Lindsey Churches Festival has a record 100 churches and chapels taking part.

The festival is one of the largest of its type in Europe and regularly attracts around 10,000 visitors to the area. This year’s festival is taking place over two weekends, May 12, and 13, as well as May 19, and 20.

Those paying a visit will experience the rich architecture, history and heritage of these culturally important buildings.

Chair of the festival, West Lindsey District Council’s Coun Paul Howitt-Cowan, said: “This year we are commemorating both 100 years since the formation of the Royal Air Force and a century since the end of World War One.

“West Lindsey is an area with a rich aviation heritage and a strong association with the RAF. During World War Two there were 13 airbases in the district, although only one now remains active at Scampton. However, there is plenty of evidence of the RAF’s existence and none more so than in the area’s churches.

“I urge people to explore as much as they can. Highlights include Welton St Mary’s with its memorial stained-glass window and Faldingworth All Saints with its front gates serving as a reminder of the Polish Air Force which was stationed here.”

Many of the churches open over the two weekends feature memorials, plaques, stained glass, gravestones and other artefacts that will be highlighted.

A full list of churches open and their displays can be found on the festival’s website, www.churchesfestival.info.

Coun Howitt-Cowan added: “One thing that binds the festival together is the sense of community we have. Many of the churches and chapels will be offering refreshments and lunches. These range from tea, coffee and biscuits to ploughman’s lunches, bacon butties, and even cooked breakfasts.”