Every year, thousands of events take place across the country as part of Heritage Open Day, with modern and historic buildings opening their doors, sharing their fascinating stories and attracting new visitors.
This year, the festival will take place between 8 to 17 September. For churches, this is an exciting opportunity to share what’s special about their buildings while gaining more recognition for local heritage.
Below is a quick-reference list of the churches in and around the Diocese of Gloucester that are taking part in Heritage Open Day. Simply click the church name to be taken to the details of their event on the Heritage Open Day website.
St Luke’s Church
St Luke’s Road, Cheltenham
View the many Victorian attributes of St Luke’s Church on a guided tour of the galleries and clock tower, via a hidden spiral staircase. Join an art workshop and view art exhibited in the church with refreshments.
All Saints Church
All Saints Road, Pittville, Cheltenham, GL52 2HG
All Saints Church is 19th century with neo-Gothic architecture with Burne-Jones glass, full of craftsmanship and has a close association with Gustav Holst, whose father was organist here. Historic records of baptism, marriages and funerals going back to the late 19th century will be on display and available to examine. Guided tours available.
Cheltenham Minster, St Mary’s
Well Walk, off Clarence Street, Cheltenham, GL50 3HF
The Minster is the only medieval church in Cheltenham. The building contains outstanding stained glass windows and interesting memorial tablets and an ancient schoolroom.
Bell ringing event at 7pm on Thursday 14 with ringing of bells plus talk. Walks around the Memorials of The Minster at 2.30pm on Sunday 17. Refreshments after events.
Malvern Road, Cheltenham, GL50 2JH
A short concert of choral and organ music with the choirs of Christ Church and All Saints Cheltenham. Free entry. No booking required. Coffee and cake is provided after the concert in the church hall.
St Christopher’s Church, Warden Hill
Lincoln Avenue, Warden Hill, Cheltenham, GL51 3DD
A wonderful mix of stained glass and etched windows, regular talks and self-guided tours. Bell-ringing. Tea and cake.
Portland Street, Cheltenham, GL52 2NX
Main church building open with a talk ‘Tales from the Crypt’ with Jim Markland.
Stained Glass Windows of Christ Church
Christ Church, Malvern Road, Cheltenham, GL50 2JH
A short talk about the stained glass windows of Christ Church.
Gloucester Cathedral, College Street, Gloucester, GL1 2LX
Discover 1,000 years of history in one of Britain’s greatest buildings. For tours and other activities at the Cathedral, please see relevant entries on the link above or visit: Heritage Open Days at Gloucester Cathedral | Gloucester Cathedral.
Gloucester’s Christian Heritage
St Michael’s Tower, The Cross, Gloucester, GL1 1PA
Both Christianity and Gloucester have 2,000 years of history. This walk traces Gloucester’s rich Christian heritage over those years as reflected in its people, places and events. The tour lasts around one and a half hours.
St John’s Church, Northgate Street, Gloucester
This tour brings alive some of the famous and influential people and colourful characters who were born and lived in Gloucester. Their fame and achievements extended far and wide but we remember their local origins. The walk lasts about one and a quarter hours.
Holy Innocents Church
Highnam, Gloucester, GL2 8DF
Visit this Grade I listed Victorian Church with its unique Spirit Fresco wall paintings. The church was built and painted by Thomas Gambier Parry, whose son Hubert Parry composed the music to Jerusalem.
Holy Trinity Church
Holy Trinity Vicarage, Church Road, Longlevens, Gloucester, GL2 0AJ
A Grade II listed 1930s structure designed by Harold Stratton-Davis in a 15th century style. It contains medieval stained glass windows that came from the now demolished church of St Luke the Less.
Kings School Tour
Bishop of Gloucester, Palace House, Bishopscourt, Pitt Street, Gloucester, GL1 2BQ
The tour includes: The Little Cloister House, Old Bishops Palace and Dulverton House.
Gloucester Docks, Gloucester, GL1 2EN
Mariners Church in Gloucester Docks opened in 1849 and became popular with the townspeople as well as the mariners visiting the port. The Chaplain was responsible for visiting every ship that arrived. The church features fine stained glass windows.
Silver Singers Perform
St Mary de Crypt Church, Southgate street, Gloucester, GL1 1TG
This local choir return with a programme of enjoyable easy-listening music. The performance will last 30-45 minutes. No booking required.
St Catharine’s Church
London Road, Gloucester
Discover the historic building St Catharine’s Church. Light refreshments available. Full wheelchair access. St Catharine’s will be taking part in the Ride and Stride (supported by the National Churches Trust) event too.
St Margaret’s Church Whaddon
Church Lane, Whaddon, Gloucester, GL4 0UE
St Margaret’s is a 13th century Grade II listed church offering access to the church, vestry, tower and churchyard. Attendees will have the rare opportunity to go up the tower to the flag room, offering a view of the original roofing timbers and graffiti from the 1800s.
St Mary de Crypt Church and the Old Crypt School Rooms
Southgate Street, Gloucester, GL1 1TP
St Mary de Crypt is a Grade I listed church and regarded as one of Gloucester’s most important medieval churches. It is of Norman origin and was substantially rebuilt in the late 1300s. Explore the medieval church and Tudor schoolrooms.
St Michael’s Tower
The Cross, Gloucester, GL1 1PA
St Michael’s Bell Tower dates back to 1465. It has interesting heritage displays on the history of the church that once stood on the site, and two heritage bells made in Gloucester in 1710 by Abraham Rudhall. A model of the medieval High Cross of Gloucester made by one of our Civic Trust members will be on display.
St Nicholas’s Church
Lower Westgate Street, Gloucester, GL1 2PG
A beautiful, medieval church with many interesting features and sympathetic Victorian restoration. Walton tomb, leaning tower, sanctuary knocker, squints, coat of arms.
St Swithun’s Church
St. Swithuns Road, Hempsted, Gloucester, GL2 5LH
A church that has existed in Hempsted from 826 A.D., built and dedicated to St Swithun. Open days include a short talk by local historian Debbie Hotchkins.
FOREST OF DEAN
St Michael and All Angels, Mitcheldean: Stained glass through the ages
Parish Church of St. Michael & All Angels, High Street, Mitcheldean, GL17 0HN
An opportunity to learn about how the stained glass windows here were developed over a period of time. A skilled stained glass artist will be present to show some ways in which this work is carried out.
St Anne’s Church: A thousand years of Christian Worship in Oxenhall
Oxenhall, Newent, GL18 1RH
Originally built in the 14th century. With the exception of the tower, the church was rebuilt in the 17th century after a design by John Middleton, the Victorian Provincial Architect.
Newnham Bellringing Premiere
St Peter’s Church, High Street, Newnham, GL14 1AD
An ancient art used to create something new. Newnham ringers will perform a bell sequence never before heard. A preceding talk will explain how bells are rung and the challenge of inventing new ‘tunes’. Tours of the belfry available afterwards.
Wesley Players Heritage Talk
St Stephen’s Church, Belle Vue Road, Cinderford, Gloucestershire, GL14 2AB
Wesley Players present a history of performances since establishment in 1956 through to the present day. A display of panto costumes. Cast members performing. Archive photographs and images.
Church of SS Mary, Peter and Paul, Westbury on Severn
The Village, Westbury-on-Severn, GL14 1PA
Visit the large church, parts of which date back to 1290. It stands in its own grounds and has a separate bell tower which dominates the local landscape.
To reach St Andrew’s take the Awre turn off the A48 between Gloucester and Chepstow. Follow the lane to the village – about two miles. Then drive through the village and past the war memorial. The church is the last building on the left before the lane becomes a track.
For the heritage days St Andrew’s will be open on Saturdays, 9 and 16 September between 10am and 4pm. Drinks and biscuits will be available. Member of the church will be on hand throughout. A rolling slide presentation will introduce both the national theme and St Andrew’s itself. St Andrew’s is a largely 13th/14the century building, predated by a Saxon church of which there is no trace. The building current building had 19th and 21st century makeovers. It now has carpets, comfortable chairs, a servery and worship led by power point. A number of very interesting features include: traces of medieval painting, a late 13th/early 14th century elm chest, a 15th century font, a 16th century rood screen, and, outside, unusual gravestones and a 1500 year old yew tree.
Canal Fun Day at St Cyr Church
Church Lane, Stonehouse, Stroud, GL10 3QP
A day of fun activities celebrating the history of Stroud’s canal and St Cyr Church. From a pirate walk for under 7s to tours of St Cyr’s 14th century tower, there is something for everyone. St Cyr Church will be open for tea, cake and tower tours.
Christ Church L.E.P.
Christ Church Nailsworth, Newmarket Road, Nailsworth, Stroud, GL6 0DQ
Past history of the three denominations that make up Christ Church. What they are doing today and what they hope to achieve in the future. How the building has changed from being a dark building with brown furniture to a colourful space with artwork.
St George’s Church Nailsworth
Church Street, Nailsworth, Stroud, GL6 0BP
St George’s, constructed in 1900, incorporates interesting period architectural features as well as some modern works of art and recently completed stained glass.
St Mary’s Kingswood Tercentenary
St Mary’s Church, High Street, Kingswood, Wotton-under-Edge, GL12 8RS
St Mary’s is three hundred years old this year, and there is an exhibition about the church and its history. Not many churches were built in the early Georgian period, so it is a fine example of a fairly rare style of church architecture.
Parish Church of St John Baptist
Market Place, Cirencester, GL7 2NH
St John Baptist is the largest Parish Church in Gloucestershire with a variety of medieval building styles. Guided tours and tower tour available (weather dependant and over 12 years only).
More events are searchable on the Heritage Open Day website: Visit | Heritage Open Days