This year, the national heritage open days take place from 13 – 22 September. It’s an opportunity for people to go and visit places of heritage that they wouldn’t normally get a chance to see – and all for free!

Running at the same time as the Ride and Stride sponsored events, it’s a good opportunity for churches to get involved and encourage their local community to come in and see what we have to offer. Some churches will simply be open, with a chance for people to look at the heritage while others will be planning special events across the two weekends.

St Peter’s Church in Pirton will be displaying the ‘Pirton Stone’ over the weekend of 13 – 15 September, which is generally on load to the Ashmolean Museum. Last on public view in 1882, the Pirton Stone was found in 1871 when the St Peter’s church was going under restoration, buried in the Chancel Arch. Over the weekend, there will be a number of presentations outlining where and when the stone was found and exploring some of the suggested purposes.

While you might not have an exhibit from the Ashmolean Museum, the heritage open days provide a great opportunity to encourage the local community to come into your church to get a sense of the heritage and hear some of the stories. Perhaps you can have your parish registers on display or people could have a go at bell-ringing? Assistant Church Buildings Officer, Kate Andrew said: “Our churches are packed with historical items of interest – invite people in to have a look and sign up to the heritage open days website for some free publicity!”

Find out more and how to get involved at: https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/.