THESE historic Yorkshire churches are throwing their doors open for the inaugural ‘Yorkshire Churches Day' (YCD) on Saturday, September 16.

Run by the Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust (YHCT), Yorkshire Churches Day is a day where everyone is encouraged to visit their local place of worship even if they have never stepped foot inside a church before. It will be a day for those who are curious about the history and heritage of their local surroundings.

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Stephen Cottrell, the Archbishop of York and President of the YHCT: “Yorkshire Churches Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our County's churches. At the heart of nearly every one of our communities is a church. They are there to serve and welcome everyone. However you choose to engage with these wonderful buildings, remember, they are not merely places of heritage and history, but vibrant centres of worship and community serving Yorkshire today.”

York Press: Stephen CottrellStephen Cottrell

Among those opening their doors are St Wilfrid's, the only Grade I listed building in Harrogate.  The church contains many fascinating pieces of silverware, beautiful vestments and items of interest, all of which will be on display throughout the day with guides available to tell you more about the church and its unique history.

Also opening its doors is St Andrew's church at Aldborough, a Grade I listed church founded in the14th Century, built on the site of the Roman forum of Isurium. As well as a tour of the church, with refreshments available, visitors are invited to see the nearby Cambridge University 'Aldborough Roman Town Project' archaeological dig.

York Press: Aldborough Church will be open on the dayAldborough Church will be open on the day (Image: Robert Beaumont)

It was during lockdown that the Trustees of the YHCT came up with the concept of a Yorkshire Churches Day, an opportunity to raise much needed funds for places of worship as the future of many churches is under threat due to crumbling roofs, windows and stonework.

The YHCT works to ensure these places of worship are kept in good repair, recognising the contribution they make to society at large and the support they provide to local communities. 

For more information see:

Harrogate Baptist Church - Saturday, September 9: 10am-1pm. Find out more:

St Michael and St Lawrence Church, Fewston - Saturday 9 September: 11am-4pm. Find out more:

Harrogate Wesley Chapel - Saturday, September 9: 11am-4pm. Read more:

YCD is being run in conjunction with the Heritage Open Days initiative, with numerous places of worship opening up for the duration of the festival from September 9-18.