Churches Unlocked is Back!
Bigger and Better
The Churches Unlocked Festival is back for its second year. For 2023, the Diocese of Llandaff has partnered up with the Diocese of Monmouth for more churches, more history, more fun! Explore twenty churches in Llandaff and ten in Monmouth with the festival from 3rd June to 11th June.
Once again, the 30 participating churches are beginning to plan walks and talks around the history and heritage of their area, community events, family fun, music, arts, workshops and Welsh language events.
“The Churches Unlocked Festival was not just about bricks and mortar. It was about community, stories, faith and love. It has enabled churches to grow in confidence and to rediscover and affirm their particular calling and mission.” – Churches Unlocked Volunteer
Sarah Perons, Churches Development Officer and leader of the project, said, “Churches Unlocked 2022 was very much an experiment but we were thrilled with the success of the project with over 3000 people visiting or participating in events at the 10 churches. We’re delighted to have ten churches from neighbouring Monmouth Diocese join us this year, as well as another twenty from Llandaff."
Last year, South Wales’s first-ever heritage festival was the focal point of our summer. Some highlights of the celebration were the Tower of Flowers where hundreds of crocheted flowers each dedicated to a person of the community were handmade and curated to cascade down the side of St Cynwyd’s Church, Llangynwyd and the Welsh language events including the re-enactment of a 17th-century Welsh language church service at St Michael & All Angels, Llanmihangel.
Archdeacon of Monmouth, Ian Rees, said, “Having heard about the success of the first Churches Unlocked in 2022 and having visited one of the open churches myself, it is wonderful for Monmouth Diocese to be involved this year. Our church buildings represent a massive treasure, but they are too often closed, other than for services or occasional other events.
“As we increasingly focus on being outward looking in mission, we also have an opportunity to extend an invitation for people to come and look around our buildings, and to become inspired by the history as well as the generations that have worshipped in those buildings before us. But it’s also an opportunity to show how we our telling the Christian story today and our buildings are important tools in doing that. I have no doubt that Churches Unlocked will be a success for those taking part from Monmouth Diocese and we look forward to it growing in years to come.”
Feedback from the Churches Unlocked Festival 2022 said:
“The location was wonderful, providing an opportunity to visit an ancient church that might have not otherwise. The parishioners were marvelously welcoming.”
“The bell ringing demonstration was beautiful and the talk on the history of the church and cemetery was fascinating.”
“[The festival was] an opportunity to see a church I would not have visited otherwise. An interesting event placing the Psalms of Edmund Prys in their historical context.”
“The parishioners were absolutely lovely and so welcoming - cakes were amazing! There was so much interesting information about the church and its history, particularly the organ.”
“The children had a wonderful time exploring the church. Thank you”
Ecclesiastical are delighted to sponsor the Churches Unlocked Festival 2023. We have over 135 years of experience insuring churches and the people who work with and care for them.
As well as supporting churches, we also provide home insurance. Taking out home insurance with Ecclesiastical means you are joining the most trusted home insurance provider with the happiest customers - according to the Fairer Finance league table in Spring 2023 for home insurance. We’ve also been voted the ‘best home insurance provider’ in the Times Money Mentor Awards in 2022. Choose the UK’s most trusted home insurer and we'll also donate £130 to your church or cathedral. (visit our website for terms and conditions).