“Great walk, lovely churches, splendid company, excellent organisation – who could ask for anything more.”
That was the verdict of David Ede from Rotherham, one of 16 visitors who took part in the Wolds Welcome church walk.
Organised by the National Churches Trust, the nine-mile walk visited three rural churches along the Viking Way.
Starting at St Peter & St Paul in Belchford, the walkers learnt about the history of the church and the part it played in the Lincolnshire Rising, before everyone was treated to hot sausage rolls, plum bread and coffee to send them on their way.
Next stop was St Martin’s at Scamblesby, where warden Derek Elmhirst and his team offered a warm welcome and more cake.
Derek said: “It was lovely to be able to share our story of our church with such lovely people.
“We are only a small village, but even St Martin’s has an interesting story to share.
“I bet not many people round here know the story about our font and how it was rescued after being smashed to pieces and left to ruin in the churchyard hedge.”
Leaving Scamblesby behind, and soaking up the glorious February sunshine, the group walked up onto the Wolds heading to Fulletby, where at St Andrew’s there was…. yes more cake.
There was also an entertaining talk by warden Paul Morris about local poet Henry Winn.
Finally, it was time to head back to Belchford and, as the sun started to set, a welcome pint and meal in the Blue Bell.
Linda Patrick, Church Support Officer for National Churches Trust was overjoyed with the day.
She said: “We have been working with the churches of the Horncastle Deanery now for nearly a year, with the aim being to help churches open their doors and welcome visitors to explore and discover the hidden stories contained within.
“Today has been so lovely; the three churches certainly showed off their treasures and the welcome was second to none.”
The walk is one of the initiatives of the Great Interpretations project, funded through the National Lottery Heritage Fund (HLF).
It was delivered in conjunction with Brackenbury’s Britain, a tour company based in Nottingham.
Following the success of the day The National Churches Trust is now looking to develop more guided walks between our Lincolnshire churches over the coming year.
Visit www.explorechurches.org to keep up to date and sign up to their newsletter or email linda.patrick@national churchestrust.org for more information.
Pictures courtesy of explorechurches.org