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Inspire me

Whatever your passion; art, wildlife, sculpture, family history, architecture, walking, rock climbing, searching out the most perfect cream tea or even just finding somewhere quiet to sit and read a book. These are all things you can do in church buildings around the UK. Here you will find themes to inspire and trails to follow.

8 churches

Tyne&WearJARROWStPaul(stringingbedes)1

Oldest churches

The building of churches, whether for monasteries or public use, was an early sign of the growing influence of Christianity. What is astounding is how many elements of these earliest buildings survive today. This list includes churches where ancient fabric dates from pre AD800, and all are still being used.

12 churches

GreaterLondonHOLBORNStEtheldreda(davidiliff)1

Twelve days

The Twelve Days of Christmas was first published as a rhyme in 1780, with the tune coming from an arrangement of a traditional folk song in 1909. All together now! On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

13 churches

YorkshireCATWICKStMichael(reuters)1

Doubly thankful churches

Just 13 villages endured the two world wars without a single life lost in combat. They don't have traditional war memorials but most have erected a plaque, stained glass or roll of honour to remember those from the village who fought, and as an expression of gratitude for their incredible luck in surviving both wars with no casualties.

10 churches

YorkshireHICKLETONStWilfrid(heritageinspired)5

Memento mori

Throughout ancient and medieval times displaying and maintaining the bones of the deceased was also a way to honour the dead and visiting them is a fascinating reminder of mortality, one of the only certainties in life.

13 churches

PembrokeshireBOSHERTONStGovanChapel(visitpembrokeshire)1

Smallest churches

We appreciate the little churches in life. Church buildings come in many varieties, from old to new, urban to rural, and big to small. Here is a beautiful selection of the smallest churches in Britain.

9 churches

RAF100Header

RAF100

In 2018 the Royal Air Force celebrates its 100th birthday. Up and down the country there are many links between churches and former airfields. Churches often house poignant reminders of brave aircrew, worth seeking out for the stories that they tell.

11 churches

LancashireALTCARStMichaelAllAngels(church)2

Wooden churches

Most ancient churches started off as simple wooden structures, but were soon adapted. Now, wooden churches are, therefore, rare in the UK, whether they have survived for centuries or are relatively new.

11 churches

GreaterLondonTOWEROFLONDONStPeterVincula(cardenandgodfrey)1

London’s unseen chapels

London is teeming with chapels of all shapes and sizes, often out of view of the main tourist routes and, sadly, many people miss them. Here are some often unseen gems to explore.

11 churches

SirChristopherWren

Sir Christopher Wren

Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723) was one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history. He rebuilt 52 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, including what is regarded as his masterpiece, St Paul's Cathedral, completed in 1710, and where he is buried.

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