Into the spirit… festive fun with the Churches Conservation Trust

    Here at Discover Britain, nothing can stop our ever-rising feeling of festivity or our gearing up for the annual round of mulled wine-fuelled, candle-lit carol belting of late December. Or at least eyeing up a UK church crawl for some good cheer…


    Happily, the Churches Conservation Trust, which is responsible for having saved some 347 beautiful historic churches around the country, has revealed its calendar festive events, which fuses two of our greatest joys: singing Hark the Herald with, perhaps, more enthusiasm than skill, and touring some of the most beautiful examples of historic ecclesiastical architecture in the land.


    Here’s the definitive guide for the perfect antidote to the schmaltzy commercial and consumerist Christmas…


    St Giles Church, Imber, Wiltshire

    19 December 2015, 2.30pm, £5 tickets

    Visitors are invited for an exclusive chance to visit this abandoned church which seldom opens its doors. Sing carols at 13th century St. Giles, which stands amongst rolling hills deep inside the military training area of Salisbury Plain. The church, which only opens a few times a year, is one of the only buildings that remains in the ghost town of Imber, evacuated for military training in 1943. The interior, divested of its fittings, allows visitors to truly appreciate the exquisite architecture and the remains of medieval wall paintings. Book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. To purchase tickets send a cheque made out to “the Friends of St Giles” to: Peter Lankester, The Barn, 26A Court Lane, Bratton, Westbury, Wiltshire, BA13 4RF.

    St Mary’s Church, Pillar Lane, Hardington, Frome

    19 December 2015, 3 pm, Free – donations welcome
    This year, the annual carol service in this peaceful church in a working farmyard is accompanied by a brass band and visitors are invited to stay for mulled wine and mince pies afterwards.

    St Thomas’ Church, East Shefford,  Berkshire

    19 December 2015, 3 pm, Free – donations welcome

    This timeless little church in idyllic Berkshire meadow beside the River Lambourn is the remnant of a village which no longer exists and has pre-Norman origins. The annual carol service offers the chance to come and sing together in this peaceful gem, surrounded by Medieval wall paintings and tombs.

    St Michael’s Church, Clevedon Lane, Clapton-in-Gordano,  Somerset

    20 December 2015, 3 pm, Free – donations welcome

    St Michael’s has been the heart of the community in this Somerset village for more than 800 years. Come and join local residents in this beautiful medieval church for their annual carol service.

    St Margaret’s Church, Catmore,  Berkshire

    24 December 2015, 3:00pm, Free – donations welcome

    An atmospheric Christmas Eve service in a small isolated rustic 12th century church on the Berkshire Downs.



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