New trails aim to get more people visiting churches

St Paul's in Jarrow.
St Paul's in Jarrow.

New heritage trails are hoping to inspire visitors to explore some of the region’s historic churches - including those in South Tyneside.

Spririt in Stone - the Lindisfarne Legacy Project aims to help churches to engage better with people.

The new trails will feature in new glossy leaflets produced by volunteers and will include Bede’s Way - the 12-mile walk between St Peter’s in Sunderland and St Paul’s in Jarrow.

Project co-ordinator, Elizabeth Baker said, “The trails have been created by local groups of volunteers with advice and guidance from the Spirit in Stone project. As well as giving information about churches, the leaflets highlight other points of interest, helping to raise awareness of the importance of churches as an integral part of local heritage and the visitor experience.”

Other cluster links which will be included in the leaflets are: Bamburgh to Warkworth coastal churches; Northumberland country churches between Bolam and Kirkharle; Newcastle City Centre churches, Darlington and outlying village churches and coastal churches from Hartlepool to Trimdon. The leaflets are being distributed to visitor information centres and participating churches.

They will also be available to download via the internet.

The Spirit in Stone Project received an Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £38,700 from the ‘Your Heritage’ fund.

The project is an initiative of Inspired North East, supported by the Church of England Dioceses of Durham and Newcastle, English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund.