ExploreChurches - discover the UK's churches

Published: Tuesday, November 22, 2016


ExploreChurches, a new website which makes it easy to discover the UK’s most beautiful and fascinating churches, has been launched by the National Churches Trust.

The website - www.explorechurches.org -  brings churches to life by using high quality images and providing information about the history and architecture of individual buildings. It’s then easy to plan your visit as ExploreChurches also provides practical information including opening hours, directions and access details. 

Starting with an initial selection of 1,200 churches, users of the ExploreChurches website can search for churches based on location or by a particular feature such as stained glass or monuments. 

Church of England, Roman Catholic, Methodist and Baptist churches and chapels are featured on the website. Also included are some English Heritage, CADW, Historic Scotland and National Trust sites.

An innovative feature of the website is a selection of ‘themed lists’, which help visitors to find churches that fit with their existing passions and interests. These include: Capability Brown, Battlefield Crosses and Churches in Film and Television. Each list includes ten to fifteen churches and chapels around the UK which link to the particular theme. 

Visitors can share their favourite churches on the ExploreChurches website via social media and also comment on what they loved most about churches they have been to. 

Claire Walker, Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust, said: 

 “This year is the 300th anniversary of the birth of Capability Brown. We are delighted to be partnering with the Capability Brown Festival to launch the ExploreChurches website on 22 November 2016 at an event to celebrate his wedding day at Stowe Parish Church, Buckinghamshire, which originally took place on 22 November 1744.” 

“Stowe Parish Church, which was first mentioned in 1130, is just one of over 42,000 Christian places of worship in the UK, all of which are rich in architectural, cultural and social heritage significance.” 

“An increasing number of people are visiting churches and other religious heritage sites, and awareness of their significance as attractions is growing. ExploreChurches aims to make it possible for even more people to discover and enjoy visiting the UK’s beautiful and fascinating churches.” 

“Designed as a visitor facing website for churches, chapels and meetings houses across the UK, ExploreChurches has been developed by the National Churches Trust in close co-operation with partners in the tourism, heritage and church sectors. Launching with 1,200 churches, we will be adding more churches to the website on a regular basis.” 

“As the national charity dedicated to promoting and supporting church buildings of historic, architectural and community value across the UK, our vision is that ExploreChurches will develop over time to become the leading source of information about churches for visitors, including both tourists and local people.” 

 “We would like to include all churches in the UK that are open to visitors on the ExploreChurches site. If a church that you love, or look after, is not listed please visit the website at www.explorechurches.org to find out how to get involved.”