Schools out for summer

It's time to have some fun!

After months of school work, both in school and on your kitchen table, you deserve a break.

If you're not self isolating, you can visit churchyards and explore the outside of churches, chapels and meeting houses on your local walk. You may also find some unlocked, so that you can discover what's inside. But please don't travel and always follow social distancing advice to keep yourselves and others safe.


We love churches

We want to encourage you to visit them, explore them, draw them and make them out of things you have around the house. We've also got some stories, games, activities and songs!

We will explore over 1000 years of history, look at art and architecture, create art and crafts and tell stories and sing songs.


Every church is different!

Do you love art, buildings, walking, cake, climbing, nature, history, cycling, geocaching, trees, finding a quiet space, stepping back in time, embroidery or Doctor Who. Or something else?

Whatever you are into, we have a church that can feed your passion. 

Explore & discover


Take a virtual tour

There are lots of online tours of churches and cathedrals across the UK. Many cathedrals and churches have created virtual visits and 360 tours. We have created a page on our website to try and list them all.
Try and explore all the nooks and crannies, don't forget to zoom into the detail.


Outgoing outsides

If you are able to venture out, why not walk to your local church and look at the churchyard and outside of the building.
What is it made of? Can you tell what shape it is from outside, does it have a tower or spire? Look carefully at any carvings.
You might be able to spot faces, or animals, or maybe even something funny or rude!


Discover different buildings

Church buildings come in all shapes and sizes. Take a guided tour around a few church buildings belonging to different Christian denominations in England and Wales. What makes them different? What do they have in common?
Visit different churches and chapels, from RE:quest.


Identify trees in a churchyard

Churchyards are often full of trees, of all different kinds. Most famous are probably the yew and the oak.
You could collect some fallen leaves, make a drawing or painting or take photographs. Let us know your favourite churchyard tree on social media using #ExloreChurchesKids
Why not use this unbe-leaf-ably clear guide from Scouts UK to identify leaves and trees that you find.


Go stargazing

It's as simple as looking up. Churchyards are often places away from light pollution, so you should get a better view of the stars. At remote churches the skies above are amazingly dark. Views of the Milky Way are fabulous as are views through binoculars and telescopes on moonless nights.
Many stand on high ground, because their towers were designed to soar heavenwards. Find great dark skies places, from Go Stargazing.


Find a geocache

Geocaching is a hobby that’s taken the whole world by storm. It’s a modern, global treasure hunt. In the UK there is a special series of geocaches called Church Micros. Hidden in, around or near churches, there are over 12,000 to find.
Unleash your hidden treasure hunting adventurer! See what's near you, visit the geocaching website.


Seek out the church puss

Churches, chapels and meeting houses are not just loved by hoomans, but by our four legged friends too. Many churches, cathedrals, chapels and meetings houses have a 'church cat'. They might be in permanent residence or just passing through.
Head down to your local church and churchyard and see if you can find the church cat!


Meet your ancestors

Churchyards are a ‘who's who' of your area. Gravestones can tell you someones name, what they did, if they had children and more. Why not go in search of your family name in a churchyard. You might find your grandparents, and their parents and maybe even further back.
You might be standing on the exact spot where your ancestors stood!


Trails of discovery

Arts Society trails of discovery guide you around historic places of worship, looking at art, artefacts, architecture and history. For each trail there is a trail sheet and an answers sheet. We are uploading them as one document to each church page!

Arts & crafts


Draw a picture

Drawing or painting a picture is a great way to get your creative juices flowing.
Pick up a nice big pad and a pack of pencils, and head off to your local church. Or, if you have a tablet, you might prefer to download a sketching app. Why not try creating a few different drawings and paintings of art of the same church or view?
See descriptions of different painting styles, from BBC bitesize.


Write a story

Being able to tell a story is wonderful!
Why not take a wander around your local churchyard and seek out some of the hidden stories. Who are all the people buried there? What were their names, their jobs or where did they come from. What do you think their lives were like? Who did they meet, what adventures did they have?
Tips and tricks for a spectacular short story, from 500 Words


Take a photograph

Taking photos with your phone or camera is a fun way to look at a church differently.
Try and take some of the details or from different angles. Maybe lie down on the grass or getting close to any carvings at ground level.
We have created some short films to help you take better photos with your phone or camera. We hope they help!


Fold a church

Find a square piece of paper, even newspaper will work, and fold yourself a church that looks incredibly similar to our little yellow logo!
These instructions on YouTube are clear and simple, and you can pause the video as you go along to complete each step.
Why not try different papers or make a few, and set up a whole village of churches!


Catch the sun

Beautiful, bright stained glass is something we are all drawn to. The rainbow of colours and shapes are like puzzles of light. In churches, stained glass windows tell stories from the bible or local history. They feature people, saints and animals as well as patterns.
PlayIdeas have 25 beautiful stained glass crafts. Why not create your own masterpiece, take a photo with the sun streaming through it and send us a photo!

Puzzles & games


Don't go to pieces

Take time out to challenge your brain with our jigsaws.
There will be a new puzzles regularly, in a range of difficulties.
Whether you are a teenager needing time out from holiday work, or a littlie getting to grips with using a touch screen... get to grips with some of our gorgeous images from around the country.


Get creative on Minecraft

Minecraft is the best selling video game of all time, a sort of Lego for the digital age. Why not try and build a church or chapel?
You could work from one of the many photos on our website, or try and copy your local church. Don't forget the churchyard!
There are a few online tutorials to help. We love how detailed this one is. BlueNerd has obviously looked at a lot of churches!


Brick by brick

We love Lego!
It's one of the greatest inventions ever to help you understand how buildings are made. But, it also let's your mind run riot with colours and shapes!
Most of you have some Lego at home so why not have a go at building a church and send us a picture using #ExploreChurchesKids

Especially for little ones


Here's the church

Use your fingers to make a church with a steeple and people inside.
You might recognise our page name from the beloved children's nursery rhyme. Children have enjoyed making the finger church for centuries. Have a go for the first time, or step back to your younger childhood and recreate the finger church.
Here are some instructions, if you need them!


Lockdown landmarks

Churches make brilliant landmarks to look out for when on a walk, bike ride or even in the car. If you are in the countryside, you might even be able to see a tower or spire from many miles away.
Why not use them as markers whilst out and about. You could even make a map!


Play iSpy

iSpy is a great game to play at home or out and about.
Why not sit in a churchyard and encourage your littlies to discover the world around them, and learn new words, using this simple game.
Here's how to play iSpy from BBC tiny happy people.


Go on a bug hunt

Spend time in a leafy churchyard.
The warmer weather, and a little rain, will bring lots of bugs and creepy crawlies out. So get out in the fresh air and take a closer look. You'll soon notice that churchyards are teeming with wildlife!
Discover more nature activities, from the Woodland Trust.


Mini mindfulness

Churches and churchyards are great places to practice mindfulness and bring peaceful with your little ones.
Fostering mindfulness in preschoolers with tools like pictures, objects, food, simple movements, and music, can help them develop an ability to better focus their attention and stay present. A calm, peaceful environment can help.
Discover 10 mindfulness exercises for little kids, from the BBC.


Smell the flowers

Old churchyards often have fantastic, flowery and species rich grasslands as they have been so little disturbed over the centuries. In towns they can be the only green ‘breathing’ space.
In your local churchyard you will find everything from wildflowers hiding in the grasses to cultivated and cut flowers left as tributes on gravestones.
Why not see how many different kinds you can find, how many colours or what they smell like. Be careful not to pick them or move them from graves.


These pages are yours

We would love to add your contributions. 

You, or your parents, can share them with us on social using #ExploreChurchesKids

Or email them to us by clicking here

Why encourage kids to explore churches?

We believe that churches are for everyone, whether or not you are religious.
We encourage you visit and explore churches, chapels, meeting houses and churchyards. We want you to feel at home, to love them and to care for them.

Finding peace and quiet is one of the ‘50 Things to do in a Church’ and a particular attraction for Michael Palin, writer and performer and Vice President of the National Churches Trust.

Help support ExploreChurches by becoming a Friend of the National Churches Trust