Church Explorers! from 15 July to 2 September 2017
Families in Yorkshire are being invited to help unearth a priceless national treasure: a giant storybook made in stone. It’s all part of Church Explorers!, a summer-long festival of events and open days, which aims to shed light on Britain’s most undervalued heritage – its neighbourhood churches.
“Our churches are like giant storybooks, made in stone, and full of amazing stories to tell. If they were manuscripts, they’d be under lock and key in national museums, the envy of the world, and yet we pass by them every day in our neighbourhoods, unaware of their secrets and their importance,” explains Dr Chris Tuckley, Head of Interpretation at York Archaeological Trust, the owners and operators of York’s JORVIK Group of Attractions, which organises the annual Church Explorers!, now in its 5th year, in partnership with the Diocese of York, and Churches Conservation Trust.
“This summer’s Church Explorers! is the perfect way for families to unearth the treasures of our past, as eighteen Yorkshire churches bring to life near-forgotten tales of mythical heroes or forgotten battles, reveal monuments to the famous and some of the country’s most extraordinary artistic masterpieces, through music, fun hands-on crafts and games, talks and tours, or fascinating living history displays,” Chris adds.
Many events are free to visitors and take place in churches right across the region, from Selby to Whitby to Ripon, between 15 July and 2 September 2017. Highlights include:
- A family fun day of children’s activities and craft making, plus cream teas served to the sounds of medieval musicians, at Saint Olave’s Church, York on 15 July.
- Medieval monastic chant, singing mass in the Latin rite of Compline, performed by the Rudgate Singers on 5 August at Saint Mary Bishophill Junior, York.
- Displays of medieval weapons, crafts, surgical instruments and medicine, as well as medieval food, at All Saints, Bramham, on 13 August, 11.30am-4.00pm.
- A fun day of medieval celebrations at Selby Abbey on 16 August, including drama and music to bring the stunning abbey to life!
- The amazing Knitted Bible (33 biblical scenes) will be at the medieval church of St Helen, Bilton-in-Ainsty, York, from 19–27 August, 11.00am to 4.00pm.
- Time Travellers’ Fun Day on Saturday 2 September at Saint Giles’ Church in Copmanthorpe.
The Rt Revd Dr John Thomson, Bishop of Selby said, “I’m delighted that so many churches are taking part in Church Explorers and I hope that hundreds of people will visit them as part of the Festival. Church Explorers is a great way to encourage people to visit their region’s churches, discover their histories, and experience a Christian welcome. Our churches tell the rich stories of their communities over the generations and are still full of life today.”
More information on the full programme of Church Explorers! events during is available online at www.churchexplorers.co.uk.
For further media information or photographs about Church Explorers!, please contact:
Samantha Orange or Nicola Bexon
Pyper York Limited
Tel: 01904 500698