Annual Conference & AGM

Full conference programme now available:

Friday tour and dinner:

Bar Convent Chapel
St Columba United Reformed Church Priory Street
Holy Trinity Micklegate
All Saints North Street
York Minster Evensong
La Piazza


Saturday conference:

KEYNOTE speech

by Jill Baker, Vice President, Methodist Conference


KEYNOTE speech

Venerable Dr Anne Dawtry, Archdeacon of Halifax


To be a pilgrim, past and present: findings from recently completed research into pilgrimage and England’s cathedrals The Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture (CSCC) has recently completed a 3 year interdisciplinary research project into pilgrimage past and present, which has produced new and exciting information about why and (more importantly) how people are engaging with sacred places. The results from the four case study cathedrals have significant implications for churches and chapels of all sizes and denominations and offer hard evidence for what people are experiencing now and what they are seeking.

by Dee Dyas & Louise Hampson, Christianity & Culture, University of York


ExploreChurches and tourism training days ExploreChurches, from the National Churches Trust, is a high quality resource for visitors and churches, supporting and promoting a beautiful collection of fascinating places to visit. How do you get involved, and what are the benefits.
Tourism training days are being developed in partnership with CVTA, what will they involve and where will they be?

by Sarah Crossland, Church Tourism Manager, National Churches Trust


Open Welcome Open welcome is a toolkit for rural churches called Open Welcome. It has been produced by Germinate with rural churches in mind as an encouragement for them to open their doors to visitors in a way that helps to tell the faith story. Revd Elizabeth Clarke
Le Tour, engaging churches with large events With a passion for the Tour de France, cycling and bell ringing, Rod encouraged all the bells to ring along the route of the Grand Depart. He continues to do this for the annual Tour de Yorkshire, and encourages all churches to get involved… but how?

by Rod Ismay author of Bells & Bikes


Why have you come? Welcoming people well Churches rely heavily on volunteers for both a physical presence and to produce much of the literature on offer to people, but they also have needs, viewpoints, concerns and prejudices of their own which can greatly affect the welcome and experience on offer. The research findings of the CSCC project have brought out a number of issues around volunteer training and management which we are hoping to explore as part of a wider project and we’d like to discuss this with you.

by Dee Dyas & Louise Hampson, Christianity & Culture, University of York
Funding What funding is out there, and how do you access it. Most funders require increased access to the building, and with huge changes to the Heritage Lottery Fund grant programmes for churches, welcoming visitors and engaging with your community more important when trying to attract funding.

Nigel Mills, Grants Officer, National Churches Trust


To be a pilgrim

Welcoming pilgrims and visitors in the 21st century

Churches Visitor & Tourism Association in partnership with Christianity and Culture, University of York


Annual Conference & AGM 2017
Friday & Saturday 13 – 14 October in York

Join us for our friendly, informative and fun annual conference.

For churches: meet other volunteers and clergy from churches open and wanting to open, share stories, get great ideas and learn from the experience of those working in church tourism across the UK

For professionals: meet others in the sector, inspire joint working or new projects and ideas


Friday & Saturday 13 – 14 October
(with possible Sunday coach tour with separate fee)

Friday: Meet at 2pm for walking tour of York churches ending, for those who want to attend, with said evensong at York Minster. Optional dinner together (full details sent with confirmation of booking).

Saturday: Conference, at the University of York Campus (free parking, bus service from city centre). Coffee at 9.30am for 10am start.



Cost: £25 per person for CVTA members
£35 per person for non CVTA members

To attend the whole conference (including the walking tour of York churches). You will also receive access to a hidden page on the CVTA website with resources from the day.

To join CVTA and benefit from the special lower price, please click here or download a membership form below and send together with your booking form.

To book please complete the form below and send, together with payment, to:
Mrs Valerie Jenkins, 8 Alton Grove, Heaton, Bradford, BD9 5QL


Conference programme includes (final details will be added as they are confirmed):

Welcome and introduction by Canon John Brown and Revd Dr Dee Dias
ExploreChurches and the Tour de Yorkshire
How do we help our visitors to pray and what gets in the way by Venerable Dr Anne Dawtrey
HLF GPOW funding changes, and what this means for welcoming visitors



Annual Conference and AGM BOOKING FORM


If you would like Microsoft Word versions of the above forms, to complete and send by email, please email



March 2020

  1. March 2020 CVTA Newsletter

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    Read the latest CVTA NEWSLETTER – MARCH 2020. Contains mentions of pews, a trip to Northern Ireland and new visitor opportunities in Wales.

January 2020

  1. Wales’ churches and chapels linked in religious trail

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    A pilgrimage trail will link 500 churches and chapels in Wales and help to rediscover the many fascinating ancient churches and chapels. The National Churches Trust’s (NCT) ExloreChurches joined forces with Visit Wales to plan the 440-mile (708km) route

  2. Counting church visitor numbers goes digital

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    Do churches know the number of visitors that pass through their doors? On 4 October 2019, the National Churches Trust launched the Great Church Visitor Count, a research project which will see 40 digital counters installed at parish churches and chapels in England and Wales. Unlike cathedrals, museums and historic houses, there is no reliable […]

  3. The Royal Saxon Way

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    Recently established, the Royal Saxon Way is a 36 mile route across the grain of the North Downs from Folkestone to Minster-in-Thanet via Lyminge. It links 16 historic parish churches, many with Anglo-Saxon origins, and celebrating powerful Anglo-Saxon royal women.  Uniquely, there are relics of the original saints at either end: St Eanswythe (Ethelburga’s niece) […]

  4. Turning Tourists into Visitors and Visitors into Pilgrims

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    Thanks to a collaboration between the British Pilgrimage Trust and the Association of English Cathedrals, this initiative to mark 2020 Year of Cathedrals, Year of Pilgrimage, will ensure there is a pilgrimage route for every Church of England cathedral taking in established wayfarer routes, other places of faith, spiritual pathways and lesser known pilgrim ways. 2020 […]

  5. All change at Englesea Brook Chapel and Museum

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      The site of the largest collection of Primitive Methodist memorabilia and artefacts has opened a new museum store, which gives visitors potential access to more than 5,000 items that were previously stored offsite. The Museum of Primitive Methodism is in the Hugh Bourne Memorial School, which was buiIt in 1914.  It tells the story […]

  6. Cathedral Visitors up by 1 million

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    England’s cathedrals have witnessed their highest Easter congregation numbers in recent years, while visitor numbers increased by a million on the previous year, statistics published last month show. Cathedrals reported nearly ten million visitors in 2018, an increase of over 10 per cent on the previous year. There were additionally over a million visitors to […]

December 2019

  1. CVTA November 2019 Newsletter

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    This Newsletter has four sections:  a summary of the recent October Walkabout, Symposium and AGM in Manchester;   a word about consultancies;  the initial stages of the rolling out of an Enquiry project across all the Anglican Dioceses of this country;  a note from the presentation of the Rector of St. Thomas-a-Becket, Salisbury at the September […]

October 2019

  1. ‘Why we…?’ Six leaflets that explain the different elements of Anglican worship

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    These leaflets were written* to explain to visitors (and regulars) what is going on in worship and why people do certain things like cross themselves and genuflect. Within the Anglican church there are many different traditions which can lead to misunderstandings. They cover six topics: Making the sign of the cross sign of the cross Genuflecting and […]

  2. CVTA September 2019 Newsletter

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    Read the new CVTA NEWSLETTER – SEPTEMBER 2019 . Find out more about the forthcoming CVTA Conference in Manchester and read about Shropshire’s Mayflower Children and the fascinating story, visitors to the parish church of St James, Shipton, near Much Wenlock, in deepest rural Shropshire  will discover. A plaque tells of the four young children of Katharine More who […]

August 2019

  1. Invitation to tender: Churches Development Officer for the Virtuous Circles 2 Project

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    This is a new post – self-employed and part time – and a chance to work on an exciting new initiative. The client is Herefordshire Churches Tourism Group (HCTG); the post will be home based, preferably in a short travel time of the project area. Start Date:   Monday 4th November 2019 Funded through the National […]

June 2019

  1. CVTA June 2019 Newsletter

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    Thoughts on why church buildings are still so important just because they are there! And a introduction to what the themes will be at the 2019 CVTA Symposium. Read the CVTA NEWSLETTER – JUNE 2019.

  2. WestHill Endowments

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    Westhill will consider applications for grants requiring investment of between £1,000 and £20,000.  Larger sums for projects running over two years are also considered but we would advise that you seek match funding in such cases. Their primary focus is on providing financial investment and other resources to support formal and informal religious education projects […]

May 2019

  1. CVTA’s 2019 Annual Symposium on 19th October, Manchester: Open All Hours: for Whom? When? Why? Promoting the significance of church buildings for society in Britain today

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    The Churches Visitor and Tourism Association’s 2019 Annual Symposium and AGM is taking place on Saturday 19th October in Central Hall, Oldham Street,  Manchester  M1 1JQ. The theme is  Open All Hours: for Whom? When?  Why?  Promoting the significance of church buildings for society in Britain today  The following speakers are confirmed: During the morning we […]

  2. Welcoming visitors to our churches: what works and what gets in the way?

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    The Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust Summer lecture , Saturday 20th July, 1pm – 3.45pm at St Michael and All Angels church, Thornhill WF12 0JZ. “Welcoming Visitors to our Churches: What works and what gets in the way?” Join The Ven. Dr Anne Dawtry, Archdeacon of Halifax and Chair of the Tourism Forum in the Diocese […]

March 2019

  1. CVTA March 2019 Newsletter

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  2. ALVA Publishes 2018 Visitor Figures

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    The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) [Alliance member] has just announced its members’ visitor figures, prior to English Tourism Week. Their findings show that there has overall been a UK-wide increase in visitor numbers, despite the 4% drop in the number of overseas visitors to the UK last year. Among the key findings: UK sites saw an overall […]

  3. West Lindsey Churches Festival 2019: 11th-12th and 18th-19th May

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    Churches Sconeathon Celebrations set to Tempt the Tastebuds! One of the largest festivals of its kind in Europe, and now in its 23rd year, the West Lindsey Churches Festival will see 95 churches and chapels across this Lincolnshire district opening their doors on the weekends of May 11-12 and 18-19, welcoming over 9,000 visitors, with the […]

February 2019

  1. Church Heritage Interpretation: Info-Point

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    Adapting historic places of worship for complementary activities often involves tapping into the potential footfall and income from tourists and heritage visitors. For six years now Info-Point has been providing a modern way for church buildings to easily deliver information to visitors’ smartphones, at low cost and low risk. Smartphones can even be used as a way of […]

  2. Report back from CVTA’s October 2018 Symposium held in Worcester

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    We are  very pleased to be able to make available summaries of the presentations given at the October 2018 CVTA  Symposium in Worcester. The theme was Partnering: we cannot do it all on our own. Who is the ‘it’ and what is the ‘all’ These are either summaries of the Presentations as provided by the presenters themselves or […]

January 2019

  1. CVTA Newsletter January 2019

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    The CVTA NEWSLETTER – JANUARY 2019 provides a brief summary of the Presentations from the Symposium and AGM held in Worcester. These range from hearing about how Worcester Cathedral works in partnership with other churches and communities in the city of Worcester to how the Methodist Church is now looking strategically at how it uses its building […]

  2. Fourth Christian Heritage Conference, 8th March 2019, Retford

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    Fourth Christian Heritage Conference is taking place on 8th March 2019 in Retford Pilgrims & Prophets is a social enterprise managed by Christians from local churches in Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire. Their goal is to share our region’s rich Christian heritage and celebrate its present day church community and fellowship. Following the success of previous events attended by […]

  3. Wolds welcome, walking Lincolnshire’s churches

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    Run as part of ExploreChurches’ HLF funded Great Interpretation project, this is a walk of just over 9 miles exploring three delightful Lincolnshire churches whilst taking in the breathtaking views of the rolling Wolds. The walk will visit: Belchford St Peter & St Paul Gather at the church (parking and toilets at nearby village hall). […]

  4. Explore the Explorers of Lincolnshire, 20th March 2019

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    Run as part of ExploreChurches’ HLF funded Great Interpretation project, this is s guided coach tour visiting four of East Lincolnshire’s hidden churches and discovering the stories they hold. They are offering two pick up points: 8.30am : Nottingham (Mount Street/Maid Marian Way coach stop) to travel to Lincolnshire 10.30am : Revesby St Lawrence Churches […]

November 2018

  1. CTVA Newsletter November 2018

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    Read the Chairman’s report on what CVTA has been upto over the last year. CVTA NEWSLETTER – NOVEMBER 2018 (1)

October 2018

  1. Explore Churches’ new website goes live

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    The new website has several new and exciting features. You can keep up with the new churches, themed lists, trails and events by signing up for a monthly five minute update. You’ll get great ideas and inspiration for where to visit next. And there is an open invitation to add your church to this inspiring […]

  2. England’s top counties for church heritage revealed

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    Analysis of 2,000 churches by the National Churches Trust’s new church tourism website ExploreChurches has been carried out. Churches were analysed across 8 different categories: interiors, stained glass, churchyards, atmosphere, wildlife, national historic, monuments and social history.

  3. ComRes Visiting Churches Poll: 49% of British adults visited a church in last year

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    The National Churches Trust’s poll of 2,037 British people, conducted by ComRes in September 2018, which shows that 49% of British adults visited a church, chapel or meeting house in the last year. That is equivalent to 25 million people.  24% said they had visited a church building, chapel, or meeting house to attend a […]

September 2018

  1. Invitation to tender: Herefordshire and Shropshire Churches Tourism Group – Tourism Capacity Building Project

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    Herefordshire  and Shropshire Churches Tourism Group – Tourism Capacity Building Project Herefordshire Churches Tourism Group (HCTG) is an independent and constituted, ecumenical voluntary group consisting of 101 members, formed in 2005).  The main aim of the group is to promote church tourism, using a network of some of the best faith buildings in the county […]

  2. Children’s book on Pugin

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        A very well worth place to visit is the St Augustine’s & Pugin: Shrine & Visitor Centre celebrating the place where St Augustine landed in 597AD to bring the Gospel to England and where the great Victorian architect, Augustus Pugin, lived, worked and built his personal church. A new small book for children called Mr […]

August 2018

  1. Announcing our 2018 Annual Symposium and AGM in Worcester

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    You are warmly invited to join with us on Saturday 13th October 2018 from 10.00am onwards in the Old Palace, Worcester, to share in an interactive workshop thinking about and discussing: Partnering: We cannot do it all on our own!  This will provide an opportunity to spend the day with a variety of practitioners, thinking and talking about […]

July 2018

  1. CVTA July Newsletter

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    Read the CVTA NEWSLETTER – JULY 2018 from our Chair, Canon John Brown. There is an update on what CVTA is doing on GDPR, a reminder that Membership Renewals are due. More exciting is an introduction to this year’s CVTA’s Symposium and AGM which is taking place on  Saturday 13 October 10.00am – 4.00pm at the The […]

February 2018

  1. CVTA November 2017 e-newsletter

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    Read the CVTA NEWSLETTER – NOV. 2017 e-newsletter.

  2. CVTA February 2018 e-newsletter

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    The CVTA NEWSLETTER – FEBRUARY 2018 is out. Read the wonderful welcome poem seen by CVTA Trustees at their last meeting held at St Bartholomews’s Church, East Ham, London

  3. Third Annual Christian Heritage Conference, Repton on 9th March 2018

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    The third annual Christian Heritage conference is taking place at The Well, Hospital Road, Retford, from 10.30am to approx. 4pm. All those with an interest in Christian heritage work are invited to attend this FREE event. All those with an interest in Christian heritage work are invited to attend this FREE event. There will be […]

January 2018

  1. ‘Inspired Conference: Heritage Interpretation for Places of Worship’ on 27th February 2018, Durham Cathedral

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    Inspired will explore practical ways to use the heritage of your church to engage and inspire people, to tell relevant stories for today, to support mission and to improve churches’ overall sustainability. It will partly use the example of Durham Cathedral’s recently opened ‘Open Treasure’ exhibition, but will also draw on experience and practice from parish […]

October 2017

  1. Open Welcome – a toolkit for rural churches

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    Open welcome is a toolkit for rural churches called Open Welcome. It has been produced by Germinate with rural churches in mind as an encouragement for them to open their doors to visitors in a way that helps to tell the faith story. If church buildings have the capacity to move people in that way then […]

  2. Bells and Bikes: on the Tour de France big ring for Yorkshire and its churches

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    This is the story of how Yorkshire Churches were brought centre stage for the Tour de France when Yorkshire became the host for the 2014 Grand Départ. Rod Ismay has a passion (some would say obsession) for the Tour de France. If you think you know someone who is obsessed, think again, but fortunately Rod’s issues […]

  3. To be a pilgrim…a weekend conference from the Methodist Church – 6-8 April 2018

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    Pilgrimage can offer so much to us as individual followers of Christ – and to our churches.  Open spaces, companionship on the journey, new ways of seeing a story or a landscape, a sense of adventure, sometimes an element of risk, the need to choose courage… Pilgrimage can help us to think radically about direction, […]

  4. Pilgrimage into Mission a conference hosted by the East AnglianPilgrimage Network Saturday 3 February 2018, Norwich Cathedral, 10am – 4pm

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    A day learning about how the international surge in popularity of pilgrimage is creating significant opportunities in mission for local parishes. The international surge in popularity of pilgrimage creates significant opportunities in mission for local parishes.Is your church along the route of an ancient pilgrimage or modern long-distance path? Is it associated with a local saint […]

July 2017

  1. Nationwide Church Tourism Week – 21st–30th July 2017

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    Church Tourism Week, an annual celebration of historic churches, takes place nationwide in the last week of July, national heritage charity The Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) has announced. The week-long programme of events and activities for all ages is a celebration of our outstanding architectural heritage and an invitation to explore church buildings – and […]

  2. Sacred Wales: the search for Wales’ favourite church or chapel

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    With over 4,500 churches and chapels, Wales has some of the most beautiful and historic religious buildings in the world. Including ancient churches, medieval cathedrals, and hilltop chapels – Wales has got the lot! To celebrate and raise awareness of Wales’ religious heritage, we have launched ‘Sacred Wales’ – ‘Cymru Sanctaidd’ giving people a chance […]

  3. 1st International Congress of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimages

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    The 1st International Congress of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimages “Following the Footsteps of the Saint Pope John Paul II” will take place in Krakow, from 8th to 12th November 2017. Krakow and Malopolska Region have a great potential as a religious tourism and pilgrimage destination. The Congress aims to be a meeting place between the tour […]

June 2017

  1. CVTA’s June 2017 Newsletter

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    The latest CVTA NEWSLETTER – JUNE 2017 includes information on the CVTA 2017 annual symposium in York in October. There is also a reflection from our Chair, Canon John Brown and on the role played by local churches and mosques looking after the survivors of the Grenfell Tour disaster and the importance of places of […]

May 2017

  1. The British Pilgrimage Trust

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    The British Pilgrimage Trust is a Charitable Trust set up to restore the tradition of pilgrimage in Britain. It was formed in 2014 after witnessing the ever-increasing success of the Spanish Camino, and concluding that Britain is missing a trick by not providing pilgrims with access to a similar (or even better) experience. There was an […]

March 2017

  1. In glass thy story: 70 years of innovative and iconography

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    In glass thy story: a two-day symposium addressing over 70 years of innovation and iconography in the glass art of British and European churches and cathedrals This two-day symposium, to be held on 8/9 September 2017, will take place at Robinson College (where John Piper’s Light of the World window can be seen in the […]

  2. The Cornish Celtic Way

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    A new spiritual route through Cornwall with a focus on the celtic saints and making reflections on your journey. The Cornish Celtic Way is a new pilgrimage route covering 125 miles through Cornwall from St. German’s to St. Michael’s Mount. It incorporates over 60 miles of the Cornish coastal path as well as two established […]

  3. CVTA Newsletter March 2017

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    The Spring CVTA Newsletter is now out.  CVTA NEWSLETTER – MARCH 2017.    

  4. Durham Cathedral wins Innovation Award for LEGO model

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    Durham Cathedral has won the Hudson’s Heritage Award 2017 for Best Innovation for its clever and highly successful fundraising project where visitors were encouraged to buy a LEGO brick which was then added to a detailed model of the cathedral. In November last year it also won Most Innovative Fundraising Campaign at the Institute of […]

  5. Re-imagining Church Tourism

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    Taking place in Ely Methodist Church on Monday 20th March, this day is about bringing cultural visitors into the wider family of the church. Part of the Diocese of Ely’s 2025 strategy, this FREE full day-day conference includes lunch and a visit to Ely cathedral. “The day will be looking at how we can grow closer to our communities […]

February 2017

  1. Public back Government financial support for church buildings, new opinion poll shows

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    57% of British adults agree that the Government should provide financial support to churches in order to protect their heritage and history for future generations, according to a new ComRes opinion poll commissioned by the National Churches Trust, the UK’s church buildings support charity. This is now an annual survey undertaken by the NCT to […]

December 2016

  1. Dickensian Churches

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    Just in time for Christmas, ChurchDays has published a new feature on churches that appear in the life and works of Charles Dickens. They include the originals of locations such as the churchyard in which the convict Magwitch first meets Pip in Great Expectations. St Bartholomew, Tong in Shropshire is where in 1910, the verger […]

November 2016

  1. CVTA Newsletter November 2016

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    The cvta-newsletter-november-2016 is now available. It includes a report back from an inspirational CVTA symposium held at St Albans Cathedral in October 2016. There is a summary of the talk given on the results of a Shrine Candle Survey, of those who came to the Cathedral and either intentionally or in the process of visiting lit a […]

  2. Christmas Carols at the national Shrine of Saint Jude

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    There is an open invitation to join the Carmelite Friars for Christmas carols at the Shrine of Saint Jude on Saturday 3rd December 2016 in Faversham, Kent. Singing starts at 2.30pm, but there will be plenty of activities before and after. Everyone who attends will need to get their voices ready for a good and celebratory singalong! […]

  3. Murder, Sex and Mayhem in the English Church

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    On Tuesday 29th November 2016, John E. Vigar will be visiting the Discovery Centre in Basingstoke to deliver a presentation on ‘Murder, Sex and Mayhem in the English Church.’ John Vigar will share the stories behind the medieval murals, misericords and memorials which depict murders, stabbings, wife beating, brawls… a quiet stroll around the local […]

October 2016

  1. Pilgrimage and England’s Cathedrals Past and Present

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    The Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture (CSCC) has recently completed a 3 year interdisciplinary research project into pilgrimage past and present, which has produced new and exciting information about why and (more importantly) how people are engaging with sacred places. The results from the four case study cathedrals have significant implications for […]

  2. Sacred Somerset – a tour of Churches of West Somerset and Exmoor October 2019

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    Why not book for a tour of the churches of West Somersest and Exmoor which has been organised by the Yarn Market Hotel in conjunction with the Diocese of Bath and Wells. Taking place over the weekend of Friday 25th to Sunday 27th October 2019, the cost offers full board and a mini bus to […]

  3. Fifty English Steeples

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    “The church steeple is the glory of the English landscape. Over a thousand years it has evolved a grandeur and a beauty unrivalled in Europe. It is the icon of every parish. At last it has achieved its biographer” – Simon Jenkins The Finest Medieval Parish Church Towers and Spires in England: an outstanding illustrated study of […]

September 2016

  1. Announcing our Annual Symposium

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    You are warmly invited to join with us on Saturday 22 October from 10.00am onwards in the Library of The Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban, to share in an interactive workshop thinking about and discussing: The Contribution of Church Buildings to the Mission of the Church The day will begin with a presentation […]

  2. 31 Liverpool churches open their doors for Heritage Open Days 2016

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    Ian Simpson, Heritage Officer at the Diocese of Liverpool has been working hard to encourage churches across the diocese to open their doors for Heritage Open Days which is taking place between Thursday 8th and Sunday 11th September. The 31 churches between them are a hugely diverse selection of church buildings, representing a range of […]

  3. Heritage Open Days and Ride and Stride 2016

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    There are two big visiting events happening in September which between them will mean that many more churches will be open over the second weekend of September 2016. Heritage Open Days (HODs) is taking place from 8-11thSeptember across the country. Literally thousands of historic buildings and cultural places are going to be open many of them […]

August 2016

  1. The Netherlands: Conference on Religious Tourism, October 2016

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    The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands, Museum Catharijne Convent, The Centre for Religious Art and Culture (Belgium) and the Future for Religious Heritage will be jointly organizing a conference on Religious Heritage and Tourism. The conference is called “How to increase religious heritage tourism in a changing society” will […]

  2. VisitEngland’s Annual Attractions Survey 2015

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    England’s gardens, farms and leisure and theme parks experienced the most significant growth in visitor numbers in VisitEngland’s Annual Attractions Survey published this week. Out of the 1,500 English attractions in the survey, outdoor attractions performed particularly well in 2015. Gardens, farms and leisure/theme parks reported the biggest increase in visitors, each up 7%, with wildlife attractions […]

July 2016

  1. Places of Worship: security funding scheme

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    In the light of the current climate, you may be interested in the following news: The Home Office announced yesterday bidding for grants under the Places of Worship: security funding scheme, to provide protective security measures for places of worship in England and Wales. Bids for funding can be made for the next 8 weeks […]

  2. Church Tourism Week 23rd-31st July 2016

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    From mixed aerial classes and extraordinary tower climbs to rock and pop concerts, historic churches cared for by the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) across the country have exciting entertainment for everyone. England’s Church Tourism Week is a nationwide celebration of the land’s historic churches.  You can find the full list of the varied and unusual […]

  3. Durham Cathedral Open Treasures launched

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    Last week on the 23rd July, Durham Cathedral launched its new Open Treasures exhibition. Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Cathedral has invested over £10 million in Open Treasures, part of a major development project which has transformed how visitors enjoy the Cathedral and gain inspiration from it. Open Treasure gives visitors access to […]

  4. Open Churches Week in Norfolk 6th – 14th August 2016

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    The Diocese of Norwich organises an Open Churches Week every August and this week it is taking place between the 6th and 14th  August. You can find out more information on the Diocesan website and also download the Exploring Norfolk Churches Booklet. You will be amazed at the range of churches that are on offer […]

  5. MPs launch rural tourism inquiry

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    AN influential committee of MPs has launched an inquiry into the role of tourism in supporting rural growth in England. Rural tourism provides around £17 billion a year to the English economy. But rural communities face some particular challenges to tourism growth such as transport connections, restrictions to broadband access and seasonal employment. Now the Environment, […]

  6. CVTA June 2016 Newsletter

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    The CVTA NEWSLETTER – JUNE 2016 is now out. It includes dates for your diary, plus a fascinating report back from the Chair of CVTA, Canon John Brown on his recent trip to Liverpool to attend a CVTA seminar which included visiting several churches in the south west of the city.

June 2016

  1. TRAINING: What Should We Do With Our Church?

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    There is still time to book for an opportunity to see what can be done with an old Victorian Church, a small but willing congregation who can catch the vision, an entrepreneurial spirit, some hard work fund-raising, some hard work to make links with the local community, and some real thought and good taste going […]

May 2016

  1. A visit to Liverpool

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    The Churches Visitor & Tourism Association invites you to LIVERPOOL (St Agnes & St Pancras Church, Ullet Road, Liverpool L17 3BA) on Saturday June 18th from 10.30am Just £12 (non CVTA Members) or £8 (CVTA Members) plus £4 on the day for a Dayrider bus ticket (free for OAP / Concessionary Pass Holders).   Come […]

  2. Open Churches Sunday in Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire

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    The Diocese of St Albans is encouraging all its churches to open their doors on Sunday 26th June so that visitors may explore and enjoy what their local church community and churches elsewhere have to offer. Over this festival weekend, some churches may be offering a quiet space for prayer and exploration while others may […]

  3. TRAINING: Open Door Forum Yorkshire

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    The Churches Visitors and Tourism Association present an Open Door Forum A day to share your experiences of open church and listen to those of others. Come and listen! Come and share! Come and discuss! Together we can find examples of good practice in making our church buildings work for us to bring new people […]

April 2016

  1. Vacancies – Project Officer – Inspired North East

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    An exciting opportunity has arisen for an experienced Project Officer to join our Inspired North East team. Building on our unique heritage, our aim is to secure sustainable futures for our churches as living places of worship as well as providing local communities with buildings to be used and enjoyed and places to welcome visitors. […]

  2. Cherishing Churchyards Week – Saturday 4th June – Sun 12th June 2016

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    An initiative from Caring for God’s Acre which has created a special week to celebrate churchyards and burial grounds and to raise awareness of the treasures they contain. Churchyards are special places: They often contain a rich diversity of plant and animal life. They are important places for archaeology and history. They often have distinctive […]

  3. Visiting a Heritage Open Day event is good for you

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    A survey from Heritage Open Days has revealed how the festival that helps connect communities and places also boosts personal wellbeing and local economies. Researchers talked to visitors who enjoyed free access to sites and happenings of historic or cultural interest across England during Heritage Open Days in September 2015. Of survey respondents, 85% said that visiting […]

March 2016

  1. West Lindsey Churches Festival is celebrating its 20th year in 2016

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    The West Lindsey Churches Festival is celebrating its 20th year in 2016 and 94 churches have agreed to take part. Taking place over two weekends, 7th – 8th May and 14th – 15th May, you can find out which places of worship – from all denominations – across Lincolnshire are going to be open by […]

  2. CVTA Newsletter March 2016

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    CVTA NEWSLETTER – MARCH 2016 In this edition, Canon John Brown reflects on the recent Church Buildings Review as well as some examples of best practice form Derbyshire.

  3. UK attractions receive 3.2% increase in visitor numbers in 2015

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    The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) published on 7 March its members’ visitor figures for 2015. Overall 124.4 million visits were made to the top 230 ALVA sites. A staggering 65,218,272 people visited attractions in London and the top three most visited sites were the British Museum, the National Gallery and the Natural History Museum. Westminster Abbey […]

  4. Tourism Statistics 2016

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    On 7 March, MPs and stakeholders attended the Tourism Alliance’s Parliamentary Reception as part of English Tourism Week 2016 (5-13 March). The event provided a platform for the Tourism Alliance to launch its annual publication of UK Tourism Statistics: Tourism Statistics 2016, highlighting the role that the industry has played in the rebuilding of the UK economy. Bernard […]

February 2016

  1. Open for What? A CVTA Seminar in Leicester on 23rd April 2016

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    On Saturday 23rd April CVTA is holding an East Midlands seminar in Leicester entitled Open for What? The Ministry and Mission of Church Buildings This will be of particular practical interest to churchwardens, clergy and others from all denominations and faith groups who are keen to open up their church buildings to visitors. There will […]

January 2016

  1. Heritage Open Days 2016 Organisers Fair

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    This year Heritage Open Days will run 8–11 September 2016. This follows on from the success of 2015, which saw almost 40,000 volunteers and some 3.4m visitors participate across the UK. It is England’s biggest heritage festival involving 40,000 volunteers who open up buildings of every age, size and style including places of worship and invite […]

  2. British Mosques Invite in Neighbours in Second National ‘Visit My Mosque’ Day

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    On 7 February 2016, over 80 British mosques around the country will be participating in the second annual ‘Visit My Mosque’ Day. Mosques across the UK will be sharing tea and refreshments alongside an insight into the day-to-day goings on of a busy Muslim centre of worship. The growing number of mosques participating this year […]

  3. New poll shows public back Government funding for historic churches and an increase in numbers of people visiting churches

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    A new opinion poll commissioned by the National Churches Trust, reveals that 60% of British adults back the Government providing financial support for churches, chapels and meeting houses in order to protect their heritage and history for future generations. Of key interest to CVTA supporters is the finding that 57% of British adults say they visited […]

  4. Commemoration of the 400th Anniversary of the death of Thomas Helwys

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    A special event is being held in March in Nottinghamshire to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of the death of Thomas Helwys. Helwys was the founder of the Baptist denomination and has become known as a pioneer of religious liberty for all. The event is being organised by the Bassetlaw Christian Heritage Group and will be hosted […]

  5. Taking stock of rural cultural tourism management

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    Can you help Future for Religious Heritage, by completing a short survey? As part of the European project Europetour, FRH has, in co-operation with its partners, set up a survey that aims at taking stock of rural cultural tourism management. Religious heritage is often a very important marker in rural areas, we are very interested […]

  6. Christian Heritage Conference 11th March 2016 in Retford

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    Christian Heritage Conference 2016 will be held in Retford, North Nottinghamshire on 11th March 2016 The event will be held at The Well, Retford Baptist Church conference centre. The aim is to bring together those interested in finding ways of engaging first generation Christians and others in their heritage, and looking at the ways our […]

December 2015

  1. Celebrating the Queen’s 90th Birthday

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    To celebrate HM the Queen’s 90th birthday and her role as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, every parish church is being encouraged to organise a festival and an exhibition to mark the Queen’s official birthday on the weekend of 10-12th June 2016. The festival could focus on any aspect of the life […]

  2. Hudson’s Heritage Awards 2016 shortlist

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    Chester Cathedral and Durham Cathedral Woodlands are both included in the shortlist for the 2016 Hudson’s Heritage Awards. Established in 2011 the Hudson’s Heritage Awards are an independent scheme, judged by an expert panel chaired by Norman Hudson OBE. The awards celebrate the best visitor experiences at heritage attractions in the UK each year including […]

  3. Heritage Open Days 2015 sets record

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    3.4 million people from across Great Britain discovered the joys of Heritage Open Days this year, with 2 million visitors sampling the four-day festival for the first time. Evaluation of the 2015 events show satisfaction was up on last year’s rates, with an overwhelming 97% of visitors and 93% of volunteers enjoying their experiences, while […]

  4. CVTA Newsletter December 2015

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    The CVTA NEWSLETTER – DECEMBER 2015 is the report back from the CVTA November Symposium and AGM held at at St. Chad’s, Shrewsbury. Full transcripts from the day will be available on the website in the New Year.

November 2015

  1. 2014 Ride and Stride raises over £1.3 million

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    Final figures which showed that £1,396,154 was raised to help fund repairs to England’s churches, chapels and meeting houses on Ride+Stride Saturday in 2014 were announced at the Ride and Stride 2015 AGM, held in London on 12th November 2015. The 2014 total was an increase of just under £24,000 compared to the 2013 total […]

October 2015

  1. Exhibition of Stained Glass by Margaret Rope

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    Margaret Agnes Rope, who was born and raised in Shrewsbury, was one of the greatest stained-glass artists of the early twentieth century, and her works can be seen all over the world. Despite her obvious genius, her name is hardly remembered at all; and we hope this exhibition – the first dedicated solely to her […]

  2. Looking for Volunteers for ChurchDays and ChurchCare

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    Churchcare, the website for all those who look after a place of worship, is looking for two volunteers to support two projects over the next 3 months Role 1 – The Church Buildings Council is encouraging parish churches around England to celebrate the Queen’s official 90th birthday in June 2016 by holding exhibitions and festivals […]

  3. World Heritage Tourism: Unlocking the Potential

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    The first World Heritage UK’s conference is taking place on 14th – 15th October 2015 at the Saltaire World Heritage site. This conference will be the first opportunity for many years for all parts of the World Heritage community to get together to explore a specific theme relevant to all of the UK’s existing and […]

September 2015

  1. CVTA September 2015 Newsletter

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    CVTA NEWSLETTER – SEPTEMBER 2015 News on the CVTA Symposium and AGM, the Small Pilgrim Places Network national gathering and AGM, the North East Inspired Futures project, and an update on the Tourism Alliance 

  2. Book your place for the CVTA Symposium and AGM on Saturday 14th November 2015 in Shrewsbury

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    This year’s Symposium and AGM has at last been fixed  –  St. Chad’s Church, Shrewsbury, 10.00 for 10.30am through to 4.00pm, on Saturday 14 November.  Every year we take the AGM ‘round the country’:   last year we were in Yorkshire and then Bristol, this year we are going to the West Midlands.  The fee for […]

  3. Small Pilgrim Places Network national gathering on 10 October 2015

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    The national gathering and AGM of the Small Pilgrim Places Network will take place this year on Saturday 10 October from 10.30am to 4.00pm at Holy Cross Church, Cromer Street, Kings Cross, London, WC1H 8JU with the theme of ‘Tourist to Pilgrim : Opening up Sacred Spaces.’  The Revd. Nigel Lacey will speak of his […]

August 2015

  1. More than 10 million people visited Cathedrals in England in 2014

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    According to new figures published today, more than 10 million people visited Church of England’s Cathedrals last year. The research according to new figures published last week in the Church of England’s Cathedral Research and Statistics Report. Research also revealed that the highest motivating factors for Cathedral attendance were peace and contemplation, worship and music and […]

  2. Hudson’s Heritage Awards: Final call for nominations

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    Nominations are being sought for the 2016 Hudson’s Heritage Awards, which celebrates the best heritage experiences in the UK by 30th September 2015. Historic Houses, heritage gardens, museums, galleries in historic buildings, archaeological or industrial sites and other places associated with the past in the UK are invited to put forward an entry in any […]

  3. Visit England report on visitor numbers to attractions in 2014 shows a decrease in those visiting places of worship

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    The annual report, Visitor Attraction Trends in England, records visitor numbers alongside other key information such as entrance fees and visitor profiles to English Attractions. In 2014, the report found that certain types of attractions experienced more growth than others. Country parks, gardens, wildlife attractions/ zoos and historic houses / castles all experienced an increase […]

  4. Methodist heritage seeks volunteers

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    The Methodist Church is seeking three volunteers with proven expertise to help support the care and promotion of Methodist archives and heritage. Would you, or do you know of others you would like to encourage to, consider these opportunities to serve the Methodist Church? Please feel free to share this email widely. If you have […]

July 2015

  1. Medieval Graffitti: The Lost Voices of English Churches

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    For centuries carved writings and artworks in churches lay largely unnoticed. So archaeologist Matthew Champion started a nationwide survey to gather the best examples. His book has just been published. Drawing on examples from surviving medieval churches in England, the author gives a voice to the secret graffiti artists: from the lord of the manor […]

  2. New plan to drive tourists beyond London

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    David Cameron has announced the Government’s new five-point plan to boost tourism right across the UK on the 17th July 2015. A new inter-ministerial group will be formed to co-ordinate and align action across Government to ensure that the right infrastructure is in place to make it easy for visitors to discover the best of what […]

  3. Domestic tourism figures in UK at all-time high

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    Visit England has released new figures showing domestic tourism in Britain is on a high after a record-breaking start to the year. The latest results from the Great Britain Tourism Survey (GBTS) has revealed a strong performance for domestic tourism in the first quarter of the year. There were 19.7 million trips recorded in England […]

May 2015

  1. Annual Art Exhibition at St Mary’s Church, Thirsk

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    A special exhibition featuring a selection of art work produced by local students who attend art classes at Thirsk Town Hall. The Art at St Mary’s Exhibition will be open daily from Saturday 2nd – Saturday 30th May from 10am – 4pm except on Sundays when it is open 12 noon – 4pm.

  2. Summer Celebration at the National Shrine of Saint Jude in Faversham

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  3. Visit England launches consultation on tourism strategy beyond 2020

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    VisitEngland has launched a consultation asking the sector to help refresh the Tourism Industry’s growth strategy. You need to submit your response by 15 May 2015. The new growth strategy will build on the existing Strategic Framework for Tourism in England 2010-2020, a sector-led framework which sets out how the tourism industry can work together to […]

  4. UK retains its overall ranking as the 5th most competitive tourism destination May 2015

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    The World Economic Forum has published its biennial findings revealing that the UK has retained its overall ranking as the 5th most competitive tourism destination in the world after Spain, France, Germany and the USA. The Insight Report, The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2015: Growing through shocks, analyses the performance of 141 economies through the […]

  5. ChurchDays – a new resource for visiting churches

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    ChurchDays is a new resource launched by the Church of England on 30th April to encourage more people to visit churches. And they need your help to populate the records. The aim is to offer a friendly new starting point for people who are new to visiting churches. It provides clear and useful information on what […]

April 2015

  1. Election 2015 – find out what the Party Manifestos are saying about tourism

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    The Heritage Alliance has made available an analysis of the political party manifestos in key areas affecting the independent heritage sector in the run up to the General Election in May 2015. One of the key areas is tourism which almost all the parties refer to specifically. So have a look and see what they […]

  2. Carry on Champing! Stay overnight in a Churches Conservation Trust church

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    Find peace with a night by candlelight in one of England’s treasured country churches, with The Churches Conservation Trust’s ‘champing’ breaks. Champers enjoy a two-day, one-night break at one of three historic churches, with the building to themselves, surrounded by rural simplicity and hundreds of years of history. Champing is the ultimate ‘slow tourism’ escape, with England’s […]

  3. £10 million funding for tourism in North of England

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    Northern destinations will receive £10 million of Government funding to boost tourism and attract international visitors from across the world, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport announced on 27th March 2015. The funding will go towards a ground-breaking new initiative that will see tourism bodies such as Cumbria Tourism and Welcome to Yorkshire sell what’s unique about the […]

March 2015

  1. ‘Always Welcome: Interpreting Your Church Building’ Conference 30th April 2015 in Manchester

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    Explaining your church to visitors is one of the biggest challenges for any parish but it also offers a wonderful opportunity to introduce a new audience to the Gospel, to Christian history and to the Church. This event will help you to improve the experience of visitors to your church – be they local residents, […]

  2. UK Visitor Attractions see 6.5% increase in visitor numbers in 2014

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    The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) [Alliance member] has announced its members’ visitor figures for 2014 showing an average increase of 6.5% on 2013 visitor numbers. The British Museum remained the most popular visitor attraction overall for the 8th year running with 6,695,213 visitors. In 2nd place was the National Gallery, which saw a 6.4% increase to […]

  3. Tourism Alliance launches Manifesto 2015

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    The Tourism Alliance has launched its Manifesto outlining a number of detailed asks so that the tourism industry can continue to deliver high levels of growth and employment for the UK. The Manifesto, The Tourism Briefing 2015, argues that even though tourism has been at the forefront of the UK’s economic recovery and is the fifth […]

  4. Triennial Review recommends separation of VisitBritain and VisitEngland

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    VisitBritain and VisitEngland are to be charged with getting more overseas visitors to travel beyond London to maintain the UK’s tourism boom, the first Triennial Review of the two public-bodies has recommended. Triennial Reviews are a way of reviewing the necessity of non-departmental public bodies, as well as reviewing their functions, performance, control and governance arrangements. The […]

  5. CVTA March 2015 Newsletter

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    Here is the CVTA March 2015 Newsletter which includes a report back from the CVTA Southern Symposium. CVTA NEWSLETTER – MARCH 2015.pdf

  6. CVTA November 2014 Newsletter

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    Read the CVTA November 2014 newsletter which includes a report back from the CVTA Northern Symposium. CVTA NEWSLETTER – NOVEMBER 2014  

  7. Church of England and Sustrans team up for Towers and Spires cycling tours

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    The Church of England has teamed up with cycling charity Sustrans to produce a series of tours linking the country’s Cathedrals and historic church buildings by bike. The Towers and Spires series are been created to provide a new way to explore the country’s magnificent church buildings. The materials have been published by ChurchCare which supports those […]

  8. Managing the experience of visitors in sacred spaces: a web-based learning resource

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    How do you reconcile the spiritual role of a place of worship with the fact that many visitors will also or only be interested in the architecture or the history of the building? And what can you provide for those visitors who have no idea of the spiritual function of the building and how it […]

February 2015

  1. How to unlock the church door to visitors

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    We’re open all hours – what’s your excuse? Bob Calver PCC Secretary Is your church open? If not why not? I ask these questions based on the experience of my village church, St. Peter’s Pipe cum Lyde just north of the city of Hereford. For many years it was kept locked except for the hour […]

January 2015

  1. Managing major building projects

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    The Historic Religious Buildings Association and Purcell are running another training day in managing major building projects in places of worship. The day is open to everyone and is very useful to churches considering major projects, including those relating to welcoming visitors.

  2. Reflections on church tourism

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    The Churches Visitor & Tourism Association has produced a cd-rom, full of inavluable information, insights and advice on how to promote visits to churches and enhance your visitor welcome. It offers a convenient starting point for accessing up to date resources for clergy, PCCs and individuals. PRICE: £9 including p&p. Click here to contact us if […]

  3. Welcome to the Churches Visitor & Tourism Association

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    The Churches Visitor & Tourism Association is the UK’s leading body for promoting best practice in welcoming visitors to places of worship. Our work is all about developing the visitor experience of a unique part of our historical and contemporary sacred heritage, captured for the future, living in the present, and distinctive to the location of every […]