Six new heritage trails will inspire visitors to explore some of the historic churches in the North East.
The aim is to encourage local people and visitors to explore and enjoy some of the 'hidden gems' of North East heritage - interesting destinations with churches offering remarkable stories, art, architecture and opportunities for quiet contemplation.
The glossy, full colour leaflets have been produced by church volunteers as part of Spirit in Stone - the Lindisfarne Legacy Project; an initiative of Inspired North East, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Working with 48 historic churches across the dioceses of Durham and Newcastle, the Spirit in Stone project has provided a range of training and events to help churches engage people in the diverse heritage of historic places of worship in the North East.
The new trails link clusters of churches, from a range of denominations, in six areas in the region:
Bamburgh to Warkworth coastal churches
Northumberland country churches between Bolam and Kirkharle
Newcastle City Centre churches
Churches from Sunderland to Jarrow
Darlington and outlying village churches
Coastal churches from Hartlepool to Trimdon
The trails offer an easy-to-use resource for planning enjoyable days out in the region. They are being distributed to local visitor information centres and other sites, and through the participating churches. They will also be available to download via the Internet.
Project Coordinator, Elizabeth Baker said, "The trails have been created by local groups of volunteers with advice and guidance from the Spirit in Stone project. As well as giving information about churches, the leaflets highlight other points of interest, helping to raise awareness of the importance of churches as an integral part of local heritage and the visitor experience."