Visiting Churches For Non-Religious Purposes

As a non-religious person, I do not go to church. However, I do enjoy visiting churches for other purposes besides worshipping…

To have a drink

When thinking of going to church, the only alcohol you might expect you get is a bit of cheap wine along with a dry piece of bread. However there is a former catholic church in Liverpool which has been converted into a Latin-themed bar.

What was once the 18th century St Peter’s Church in Seel Street is now the Alma De Cuba bar and restaurant. During the day, you would probably walk straight past it. But at night it is transformed into a popular nightspot with stunning interiors.

The cocktails are really good here and there is a carnival atmosphere at the weekend, with dancers and a petal shower at 11pm on Friday and Saturday nights.

Discover interesting history

England is brimming with numerous old churches; their aged stone soaked with bucket loads of haunting historic character. Having housed centuries of civilisation, it is inevitable that there are always interesting stories to tell. Take St Mary’s Church, for example, in the little rural market town of Horncastle in Lincolnshire.

St Mary's Church in Horncastle, Lincolnshire.

This was one of the locations where a massive crowd rebelling against Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries gathered more force on the way to Lincoln. The Lincolnshire Rebellion in 1536 saw around 40,000 people protest.  But the movement ended in failure, as did the Pilgrimage of Grace uprising in Yorkshire that followed.

Legend has it that thirteen scythe blades adorning the wall in St Mary’s were used during the Battle of Winceby in 1643 at the nearby Bolingbroke Castle.

Although this was a short and small battle in comparison to others, it was considered to be an important victory for the parliamentarians against the royalists.

St Mary's Church in the snow

Enjoy some creative entertainment

There is a church in Liverpool which looks pretty average from a distance. But The Church of St Luke in Berry Street is in fact a mere shell and has been since it was bombed during the Second World War.

Locally it is known as ‘The Bombed Out Church’ and is now used as a venue for creative events such as film screenings, gigs and poetry readings.

Its steps are also a popular location for people to sit and eat their sandwiches at lunchtime.

To appreciate beautiful architecture

Churches and cathedrals are more often than not absolutely stunning to look at. They do not make buildings like this any more and the mysterious towers and sky-scraping spires can really define and dominate a village, town or city’s landscape.

Lincoln Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral in England’s second largest county, Lincolnshire, can be seen for miles. Even at night it becomes illuminated and is a beacon of light over the city from afar.

When you get up close, you can appreciate the huge amount of detail and stone masonry that goes into keeping this cathedral looking its best. Unfortunately, like many old buildings such as this, there is a constant struggle to keep up with the maintenance costs, at a time when people are tightening their purse strings during the economic downturn.

Rummage for vintage finds

A former church in Horncastle, Lincolnshire, now houses the Trinity Antiques Centre. Here you can find everything from antique furniture to vintage clothing and jewellery.





  1. March 31, 2012 / 19:21

    I love visiting churches and the graveyards near them. Oh the stories they could tell. Youir pictures are amazing as always. They constantly give me ideas.

    • April 1, 2012 / 14:51

      Thanks Darlene, they’re always interesting places. I’ve always thought it would be cool to live in a converted church – although might be a bit spooky!
      Alison recently posted..Visiting Churches For Non-Religious PurposesMy Profile

  2. April 2, 2012 / 14:43

    That’s a great shot of Lincoln Cathedral. I love visiting the churches and cathedrals in Europe – they are so beautiful!

    • April 2, 2012 / 20:47

      Thanks Daphne, I agree they are beautiful buildings and Lincoln Cathedral is very photogenic :-)