Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Norfolk’s Guide to 440 Open Churches – English Tourism Week Launch

The Diocese of Norwich’s Open Churches 2012 guidebook, the free A-Z guide to 440 historic churches across the county, was launched at Great Yarmouth Minster on Friday 16 March to mark English Tourism Week.

This essential guide to churches that are open throughout the year covers the Great Yarmouth area, the Broads and Norwich, the North Norfolk Coast, and market towns like Dereham, Swaffham, and Wymondham, as well as the Norfolk countryside. The number of churches featured in the guide has more than doubled since 2011.

Norfolk has more historic churches (629) per person and per hectare than anywhere in the UK and Europe. Each has a story to tell and increasing numbers of local volunteers are ensuring that churches are open and welcoming visitors throughout the year.

Jennie Hawks, Historic Places of Worship Support Officer, Diocese of Norwich said: “We are delighted with the growing numbers of churches in the Diocese that now open year-round thanks to the support of dedicated volunteers. Norfolk is full of the most beautiful, mainly medieval churches, every one with a treasure to discover and a fascinating story to tell. Wherever you are in the county there is a church tower, from tiny Saxon parish churches to the great cathedrals of Norwich, our new Minsters at Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn and the Shrines of Walsingham. Whether you travel by train, car, bike, boat or on foot you will find a historic church. Our Open Churches guidebook is the perfect accompaniment to a day out in Norfolk.”

Brandon Lewis MP for Great Yarmouth said: “Norfolk is blessed with a brilliant collection of churches, many of which are the centres of our communities and a living testament our great heritage. I am delighted that this guide has been produced as it demonstrates just how lucky we are to have such a fantastic legacy.”

Art Alive in Churches returns for the fifth year, in June, July and August. A travelling exhibition, The Painters and Carvers of Angels, Medieval Art and Craft in Norfolk will be at The Narthex, Norwich Roman Catholic Cathedral, Tuesday 12 to Saturday 16 June 10.30am to 5pm, and Sunday 17 June 1pm to 4pm.

The exhibition will then travel to All Saints King’s Lynn, during the King’s Lynn Festival, from Monday 16 July to Sunday 22 July, open daily 10am to 4pm, and will be at St Catherine’s Church Ludham from Sunday 5 August to Sunday 12 August (open 10am to 5pm), during Open Churches Week.

Open Churches Week from Saturday, August 4 to Sunday, August 12, is the main celebration of the year with a busy programme of special events and activities across the county. The week starts with the annual Ecclesiastical Classic Car Rally on 4 August, and annual service at St Benet’s Abbey on August 5.

Information about Open Churches Week and Art Alive in Churches will be available at http://www.norfolkopenchurches.com. The Open Churches guidebook is available from libraries and tourist information centres throughout Norfolk.

Pictured left to right Jennie Hawks Historic Places of Worship Support Officer, Diocese of Norwich, Revd Chris Terry Team Rector Great Yarmouth, Brandon Lewis MP Great Yarmouth, Revd Andrew Avery Team Vicar Great Yarmouth and Ivan Barnard Open Churches Ambassador.