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The Light Ships was…

  • A revaluation of Lincolnshire Fenland churches as historic works of art and as sites of contemporary creativity;
  • An exploration of the village church’s layered meanings in community life now; and
  • A celebration of the stories, memories and associations bound up in every church.

The Light Ships revolves around the Fenland’s medieval churches. Each one is unique, its form, treasures and meanings built up over centuries by the people who have lived alongside, used and owned it. Each one is an ark of creativity and memory, carrying a community’s life across oceans of time, continually refitted during the voyage to meet changing needs in changing times. The Light Ships focused on 14 Lincolnshire villages, in partnership with Transported, an arts initiative working across Boston and South Holland Districts.

The project welcomed anyone and everyone with an interest to be involved – parishioners, vicars and volunteers; masons, cleaners and gardeners; choirs, bell-ringers, musicians, needleworkers and other artists; schools, clubs and community associations. We shared stories, insights and knowledge of each unique place, looking and talking and listening until a collective image of ‘church-ness’ begins to form. Words, film and photography portray the buildings as lived-in spaces not just architectural wonders – sites of meaning and local spirit of place.This website records progress, research materials and online conversation. The Light Ships ended with a book both document a summer’s work and a millennium of life in Fenland Lincolnshire.

The book is available for sale from the churches or it can be downloaded free as a PDF file by clicking on the links below: