Open doors- welcoming visitors and tourists

Heritage webpage

We have an amazing story to tell of the Christian faith through the centuries. Our Christian heritage is something to be understood, cherished, celebrated and shared. Our buildings encapsulate stories of lives touched by God, of local and personal history and of exceptional creativity that expresses and uplifts our faith.

Opening and interpreting our buildings is part of mission- we are inviting people to come, sharing who God is and what he has done and providing an opportunity for people to better understand and enjoy a church building as a local or visitor. We encourage you to consider how best your church heritage can be part of mission.

Researching heritage 

  • Finding out about the history and significance of your church. This link offers guidance on writing a Statement of Significance and researching significance- although this is needed for faculty permissions, it may be a helpful starting point for developing interpretation. It's also useful to gain feedback from visitors and groups on which stories they are most interested in, both children and adults

Interpreting your church building

Further resources

Security for open churches

Promoting your church

  • Get Your Church Noticed. Website and accompanying book that has plenty of practical tips
  • Register your church on ExploreChurches. by the National Churches Trust for church buildings open for visitors outside service times


See the events section of this website for ideas and case studies of stories worth sharing

Stories worth sharing

  • Towers and Spires. The Diocese of Chester developed a church cycle trail around nine of our churches and Chester Cathedral, called 'Towers and Spires', working in partnership with the cycle charity, Sustrans, Cheshire Active and Cheshire West and Chester Council. This is part of a national initative by the Church of England to encourage people to get out and about and explore church heritage.
  • Tactile tour. St Matthew's Church, Edgeley, Stockport, developed a multi-sensory tour around the building for people with sightloss, including commissioning a sculpture of the building to touch, see photo below.
  • Open for Visitors. About 20 of our churches feature on the new ExploreChurches website. If you are open to the public outside service times, why not register for free too.
  • New guidebooks and trail leaflets. Many churches have redeveloped their guidebooks and trail leaflets. Examples can be viewed at Church House. 

What next?

  • Need assistance? Emily Allen, Church Buildings Development Officer, would be very happy to chat through any ideas you have in mind. Email
  • Have you a story worth sharing? If you have been involved in any of the above, Emily would be delighted to hear your story.

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Page last updated: 10th Jan 2019 1:39 PM