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Visit a church during heritage open days

Published: 31st August 2023

Heritage Open Days flag outside a churchChurches across Worcestershire and Dudley are opening their doors for this year’s Heritage Open Days with a range of activities for all ages and a chance to discover the story behind our historic churches and the communities they serve.

This year’s Heritage Open Days take place between 8 – 17 September and are an opportunity to celebrate our heritage, community and history; exploring hidden places and trying new experiences. A number of churches are hosting events which will be completely free to attend.

St. Laurence Church, Alvechurch will be open from 10am – 4pm on Saturday 16 September with a programme of events including bell ringers, teddy bear parachuting, storytelling, Irish dancing demonstration, community choir, children's dancing demonstration, sound bath experience, Morris dancers, model railway, children's activities, and refreshments. The event will conclude with Pimm's and hymns starting at 3pm.

St James Church, Badsey will be open Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 September, 11am – 3pm. Come along and see the historic church, its monuments and Commonwealth war graves. The bell tower will be open for tours, and the Badsey Society will tell you about recently discovered medieval graffiti and the interactive Badsey and Aldington Trail.

St John's Church, Brockmoor will be open on Monday 11 September, 1pm-4pm and Saturday 16 September, 10am-2pm. Visit this grade II listed building and war graves, seeing the architectural details and hearing about the role the church had in the development of the village of Brockmoor and the importance of the building as a community hub today.

At All Saints Church in Bromsgrove there is a chance to explore this beautiful church and enjoy special exhibitions of art, textiles and pottery on Saturday 9 September, 10am – 4pm. There will be live music, activities for visitors and refreshments as well as a special exhibition of work by Artist Mary Long, who lived nearby, which will include works from a private collection not exhibited previously.

St John’s Church, Bromsgrove will be open for a free Coffee and Cake concert on Saturday 16 September, 10.30am followed by an open day with a chance to have a go on the organ and climb the bell tower. Other activities will be available inside the church & refreshments will be available. “Theme and Variations” will be a musical journey through the sounds and sonorities of the organ by Oliver Neale.

St Mark's Church, Fairfield, Bromsgrove will host a performance from singing gropu 'The Villeins' on Saturday 9 September. A 30-minute selection of a cappella songs celebrating our Vocal Heritage, from 16 century Fa-la-las to Beatles arrangements, in a peripatetic performance around Bromsgrove churches. Alongside St Mark’s, there will also be performances at 11am: Christchurch, Catshill, midday: St Mary’s, Dodford, 2pm: All Saints, Bromsgrove and 3pm: St Godwalds, Aston Fields

On Sunday 10 September, after visiting St. Mark's, there is a chance to enjoy the film ‘Looking back at Bromsgrove’ being screened in the Village Hall next door. The film explores the origins of the town and follows its growth from a thriving medieval market centre, an important stage coaching town, the nail-making capital of Britain, to the bustling residential town of today.

St Michael’s Church, Brierley Hill will be open on Saturday 16 September from 9am. Enjoy family activities whilst enjoying oldest building in Brierley Hill. Bring your teddy to parachute from the top of St Michael's Tower, tour the historic church with its memorials and beautiful stained-glass window, solving the family-friendly treasure hunt. Visit the ringing room and chime one of our historic 125 year old bells and view a photographic and poetry exhibition featuring photographs of Brierley Hill taken in the early sixties...can you identify where they were taken

Christ Church, Catshill, Bromsgrove will be open for people to visit the beautiful stained glass windows, war memorials and a craft stall on Saturday 9 September: 10am - 4pm, Sunday 10 September: 11am - 4pm and Tuesday 12 September: 10am - midday. There will be refreshments and a churchyard quiz for children.

The Church of St Edmund King & Martyr, Castle Street, Dudley. Open Saturday 16 September, 11am to 2.30pm. There will be knowledgeable tours on request, light refreshments and an exhibition of old photographs and religious memorabilia.

St Augustine’s church, Dudley.  On Saturday 16 September: 10am-4pm there will be access to Baptism marriage and burial records from 1884 -present day, displays of old photos, traditional crafts on display and children’s activities as well as access to the churchyard/ war graves. Tea and coffee /refreshments available

St James’ Church, Eve Hill, Dudley will be open Saturday 9 September, 10am - 3pm. Visit this landmark church, built in 1840, and learn about its many interesting features as well as enjoy light refreshments. Full access to the church, churchyard and crypt (opened in 1972) will enable visitors to discover many interesting features and facts.  Tea/ coffee/ cake and other light refreshments will be served.

Top Church (St Thomas and St Luke), High Street, Dudley will be open Saturday 9 September, 11am – 2pm. Come and learn about the exciting conservation work that has been completed on our historic building this year, as part of our National Lottery Heritage Fund programme. We celebrate the creativity and innovation encapsulated in our East Window - currently undergoing conservation and you can discover the history of our East Window and it's artists, Joseph Backler and Benjamin West as well as speak to our conservator, Jim Budd, about the painstaking preservation process. Join our architect, Matt Vaughan, up on the scaffolding to learn about the creative solutions being used to preserve the building for future use.

At Guarlford Village Hall, the old former malt house open with an exhibition of a range of country crafts and art by members of the local community. Refreshments will be on offer including homemade cake and visitors will also have the opportunity to visit the nearby St Mary's church, built in 1844. Friday 15, Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September, 1-4pm

St Mary and All Saints Church, Hampton Lovett is open Saturday 9 September, 10am – 4pm. Through exhibits, displays, and activities, visitors with be able to see and celebrate past and current examples of creativity and heritage from within the church and local community. Learn about Hampton Lovett's wider heritage and the historic figures in our local community and see the work currently underway to repair and conserve the C14th church tower. Tea, coffee and cakes available.

At St Mary's Church, Hanley Castle there will be an exhibition detailing the history of creativity in the Hanley Castle area from the Medieval Potters to the artists and craftspeople of today. Discover literary connections with PG Wodehouse, PH Newby and David Mitchell; join one of the demonstrations or workshops taking place during the week; or simply enjoy the beauty of this ancient church. Friday 8 – Sunday 17 September, 2 – 5pm

St Mary’s and All Saints Church, Kidderminster will be open on Saturday 9 September, 10am – 2pm. Come and explore the largest parish church in Worcestershire with stained glass windows, tombs, stone effigies and an engraved 15th century brass memorial. Climb the tower and enjoy refreshments in the church.

At the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Madresfield there will be a chance to follow trails around the church and churchyard, highlighting history and creativity. There will be an exhibition and Harvest decorations set up in and around the Church. Open Saturday 9 September, 10am – 4pm and Sunday 10 September, 2 – 5pm.

St. Andrews Church, Ombersley will be open Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 September from 10am. Creativity Unwrapped will allow you to get up close to the windows, you can get crafty and see the Sandys' Mausoleum, learn about glass and be refreshed.

At St Peter's Church, Pedmore there is an opportunity to see local traditional and creative crafts still practised and enjoyed in the parish on Sunday 17 September: 12.30pm - 5pm

At St Peter's Church, Pirton visitors will be able to view a model railway of the line between Wadborough Station and Pirton Sidings. It comes as no surprise given the picturesque building and location that Hornby chose to make a model of Pirton Church, disguised under the name of Holy Trinity. Additional attractions will be the opportunity to view archived footage of the Midland Railway line passing through the Worcestershire villages of Wadborough and Pirton, following the main Birmingham to Gloucester line. Church open Friday 8, Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 September, 10am – 4pm.

St Peter’s Church, Powick is open Monday 11, Wednesday 13 and Friday 15 September 11am – 4pm.  There will be a WI stall with memorabilia through the ages, information on music halls through the ages, circus groups and the stained glass windows and exhibitions from a local painting group and local drama group. Cream teas will be available on the last day.

At St Stephen’s Church, Redditch on Saturday 9 September from 10am – 4pm you can explore the beautiful church sit a while, pray, watch a film about old Redditch and take up the rare opportunity to take a tour of the tallest tower in Redditch, seeing the bells as well as have a go at chiming them yourself. There will be activities for children and a chance to see the children's garden tended by our Young Bellringers Group and growing flowers and veg.

Parish Church of Ripple, Worcestershire. On Saturday 16 September come and meet members of the Sealed Knot in their home church and find out about the 1643 Battle of Ripple and on Sunday 17 September come and see volunteers from the local community undertake a basic conservation clean of the 15th Century misericords to remove dust and surface dirt.  Come and see work in progress and chat about the techniques being used, maybe even learn how to roll a cotton wool swab.  Tours and refreshments are available on both days and an exhibition about the history of the church and the Civil War Battle of Ripple will be on display together with the tapestry kneelers created at the time of the millennium by the local community. Take part in the Green Dragon quiz for children (and adults). Open 10am – 4pm

St Michael & All Angels Church, Stoke Prior will be showcasing local history including industries, people, buildings and organisations connected with the local area. On display will be pictorial and physical historical items from the world famous John Corbett salt works, the L.G Harris Brush works, local watercolours from the wife of an early Vicar of St Michael's church, bell ringing / demonstration from the Tower Team and the local history team together with the Heritage Friends Group will be talking about "Stories in the Stones". Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 September, 10am – 4pm


Page last updated: Thursday 31st August 2023 12:22 PM

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