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Church, Art and Community in the Lincolnshire Fens

A celebration of the church’s place as a complex centre of artistic and community life in the Lincolnshire Fens. Text and photographs by François Matarasso; commissioned by Transported.

They stand back now, a little reserved as the world rushes by. Their spires no longer twinkle on the waters. Fen and marsh have been drained; the sea pushed back. But still these old churches faithfully mark the havens where people have lived and worked, loved and died, for thousands of years.

The Light Ships celebrates the place of the church in the life of fenland villages, through the words of those who know them best. More than 100 people have contributed to this portrait of the church as an architectural marvel, a house of small treasures and—always—the heart of a living community. Their different perspectives reflect each person’s beliefs, histories and relationship with the church. In these pages, illustrated by new photographs, you can hear something of what the church means to people here, today.

The Light Ships was created by François Matarasso for Transported, which works to increase arts opportunities in Boston and South Holland. Proceeds from sales of this book go to support the churches and local arts activities.