Camping, Glamping and now Champing™ – that’s right – Camping in a Church!

All Saints Langport credit Joseph Casey Photography

What better way to explore the beautiful English countryside and experience village life than to stay in buildings that have been part of the scenery and an integral part of the community for hundreds of years. Champing™ is the unique concept of camping overnight in historic churches, brought to the world by The Churches Conservation Trust, the national charity protecting historic churches at risk. Hundreds of happy champers stayed overnight in these ancient spaces in summer 2016 and Champing™ is extending to 12 churches across England and the Orkney Islands in 2017. Champing™ has proved to be very popular with couples, families and special interest groups; all looking for adventure and a memorable camping experience.

St Stephen Old Church Fylingdales credit Joseph Casey Photography

A new flexible pricing system has been introduced to make the booking process even easier – Adult rates are from £39 to £59, children’s rates start at £19, plus there is a group discount for 8 or more. Dog are welcome too.

After a hard day’s exploration what better way to finish the day than with a glass of wine – and luckily the facility to pre-order a bottle wine is available when you make your booking.

St Cyriac & St Julitta Swaffham Prior credit Joseph Casey

There is even a franchise opportunity now available. The Churches Conservation Trust has joined forces with The Scottish Redundant Churches Trust and the Churches Trust for Cumbria to deliver new Champing™ sites in under-utilised churches.

Rev’d Canon Nigel Davies from the Diocese of Carlisle comments: “Champing™ at St Mary’s in Longsleddale will help open up the valley and could well be a starting point for the Lakeland Pilgrimage trail that has just been opened – seven stages around the peaks of South Lakeland. It will provide income for the church and the Community Hall and secure their future for succeeding generations”.

This is a new departure for the Champing™ concept and the franchise model is being tested to see whether it can be rolled for church organisations in other countries – there has been interest from Europe and as far away as Canada!

All Saints Aldwincle Copyright Joseph Casey 5

Bookings can be made at www.champing.co.uk and the Champing™ season runs from March 31st – September 30th.
New Champing™ sites in England and the Orkney Isles
Due to the success of Champing™ in South East England last summer, The Churches Conservation Trust has utilised more of its 350 English churches and will this year, for the first time, offer Champing™ sites throughout England and at St Peter’s in Sandwick, Orkney.

St Peter Sandwick Orkney credit Scottish Redundant Churches Trust

New sites include the pretty Warwickshire church in which William Shakespeare was reputedly married, two sites on the edge of moorland, a church in the valley on which Postman Pat’s Greendale was based, two coastal churches and a church next to a Roman ruin and vineyard.

St Katherine Chiselhampton credit Joseph Casey Photography

FOOTNOTE

Champing™ helps care for and create long-term sustainable uses for our beautiful buildings. It has also worked brilliantly as a means to attract and engage new audiences to discover and love these churches. Champing™ is a trademarked term under the ownership of The Churches Conservation Trust. The Champing™ season in 2017 runs from March 31st – September 30th.

The revenue raised from Champing™ is used for repair and investment across the entire CCT estate. This also includes the church buildings in more remote locations; where visitor numbers may be low and the support infrastructure within the local community is not fully established.

About The Churches Conservation Trust
The Churches Conservation Trust is the national charity protecting historic churches at risk and operator of the third largest heritage estate in charitable ownership in the UK, with an international award-winning reputation in heritage conservation and regeneration. All churches in the care of the Trust are listed, mostly Grade I and II*, and some are Scheduled Ancient Monuments.

Without the care of The Churches Conservation Trust, the buildings they look after might have disappeared entirely. Instead they are enjoyed as social, tourism, educational and cultural resources, kept open, in use, and living once again in the heart of communities. All the Trust’s churches remain consecrated and are used for occasional worship. http://www.visitchurches.org.uk

 

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All Saints Langport credit Joseph Casey Photography

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