Finding Wales’ Finest: 500 churches and chapels to be featured on explorechurches.org
The Experiencing Sacred Wales project is designed to shine a spotlight on Welsh sacred heritage; helping boost the profile of historic places of worship through an innovative mix of grass roots training, high profile PR and marketing and the creation of bookable Experience.
Led by the National Churches Trust, the project will help sustain historic places of worship by ensuring they are appreciated, valued, and (when possible) visited, as well as developing an income stream from tourism. The project is Welsh Government funded and continues this year, finding new ways to support historic places of worship during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Churches and chapels may be closed at present but a key way the National Churches Trust can continue to support you is to ensure your place of worship is listed on its church tourism hub: www.explorechurches.org
A National Churches Trust spokesperson said: "You are the experts in your church. You know the stories that make it special, the fascinating facts about your place of worship, the reasons why visitors should come (virtually at the moment). If you’ve got time on your hands, we’d love your help.
"We need around 350 words showcasing your church or chapel; highlighting all the things visitors would enjoy. Think about its age – when was it founded? Was there an earlier church on the spot? Is part of it older than the rest? How can you tell? Are there interesting stories about the saintly dedication? And then the architecture – what is the most beautiful thing about your church? What should visitors make sure they see? Does it have connections with any notable people? Or myths and legends? Is there a holy well, or standing stone nearby? What do visitors need to know to understand and appreciate your church? Visitors always gravitate towards stories involving people – whether that’s stained glass, monuments, or people connected with your place of worship. What makes your church special? Churches are living breathing buildings and that is all part of their appeal to visitors. We also need to collect contact details and visitor information, and details of any website or social media pages you have – making it easier than ever for people to enjoy your church."
Add your church using the online form here https://www.explorechurches.org/add-your-church or send in the information on the attached pdf to firstname.lastname@example.org and help us put Welsh churches and chapels on the virtual tourist map.
"The National Churches Trust also prepares regular themed lists and story pages featuring places of worship, so if you are listed on explorechurches.org we can include you in these too.
"When we reopen our doors we can make sure visitors have all the information they need to enjoy and to visit."