York Archaeological Trust invites Yorkshire churches to participate in ‘Church Explorers 2019’, a festival from June to September.

This year’s theme is ‘Lost and Found’; participating churches are invited to tell stories of loss and damage, as well as rediscovery and repair. Yorkshire’s historic churches have experienced Viking raids, the Reformation, and even the bombs of Hitler’s Luftwaffe, as well as the more gradual effects of the passage of time.

Breakage (accidental and deliberate), conservation (successful and unsuccessful), concealment and revelation will all come into focus in the festival programme.

Participants are asked to highlight an aspect of their church that best tells one of these stories. It may be a piece of damage that has defied attempts at repair, or that expresses an aspect of the church’s history. It may be a long-forgotten document or piece of church furniture rarely exposed to the public gaze, or some other feature uncovered in building or renovation work. Particularly welcome are the problematic, the unloved, the hidden-away, the scruffy and the unsightly!

Participating churches will be listed on the Church Explorers website during the festival, and can also hold a special event to highlight their features during the festival. Event listings can be added to the website help is offered to publicise the event. An event is essential to take part in the festival however – as long as the feature listed can be visited by the public at some time between June – September 2019.

What you need to do to take part:

Pick the feature in your church that matches the 2019 theme. Then simply complete the online Expression of Interest form which includes:

  • A 250 word description of what the feature is
  • An image of the feature
  • Details of when the church is open for the public to see the feature
  • Information about how to find your church

Your ideas do not have to be fully formed at this stage: there will be opportunities to revise your submission before the programme goes live.

Expressions of Interest are required by 15th March 2019.