Spirit in Stone was created by the Dioceses of Newcastle and Durham to celebrate and promote the heritage of 125 priceless local churches and Christian heritage sites across Northumberland, Newcastle, Tyneside and County Durham.
This churches heritage and visitor development project is now nearing completion. As part of this, they have just launched (July 2015) six new churches heritage trails – these have been produced as the output of a process of working with groups of local volunteers, providing training on ‘understanding your heritage’, heritage guiding, visitor welcome and how to create new interpretation materials. As a result of this some groups are forging ahead with further local research and producing new church guides, displays etc under their own steam.
The project hopes that these will help to encourage visitors to spend more time exploring the ‘hidden gems’ to be found in these areas – interesting destinations with churches offering remarkable stories, art, architecture and opportunities for quiet contemplation. The trails offer an easy-to-use resource for planning enjoyable days out in the region. They are being distributed to local visitor information centres and other sites, and through the participating churches.
The new trails link clusters of churches, from a range of denominations, in six areas in the region:
Bamburgh to Warkworth coastal churches
Northumberland country churches between Bolam and Kirkharle
Newcastle City Centre churches
Churches from Sunderland to Jarrow
Darlington and outlying village churches
Coastal churches from Hartlepool to Trimdon
You can download PDFs of the trails now, but they will soon be able via the internet from the Spirit in Stone website.
About the Spirit in Stone project: The Spirit in Stone Project received an HLF 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.