Champing (camping in church)

Champing at St Mary's
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My (now) famous wife Lynda, been inundated with media requests over the past few weeks for comment, interviews (radio and TV) on the topic of ‘Champing’. Never heard of it? With the new focus on ‘staycations’ (holidaying closer to home), people are looking for new holiday experiences that do not require paying extortionate rates for holiday cottage, or worrying about having to quarantine and having to undergo frequent (and potentially expensive) Covid PCR test or Lateral Flow Tests. Hence the media interest in bringing Champing to the attention of the vacationing public.

Champing was originally introduced in 2014 by the Churches Conservation Trust, a registered charity that looks after redundant churches. It was a way of raising funds to preserve and maintain these historical buildings, and provide heritage for future generations. I think even they will have been surprised by the recent popularity of this unique form of camping, fuelled by the present uncertainties of travelling abroad. Lynda Dale, who is Chair of the Friends Group for St Mary’s Church, Stansted and facilitates Champing at St Mary’s, was caught unawares when asked to do an interview for the Sunday Observer, followed the week after by the Sunday Times, followed the week after by a live interview on BBC Radio Essex. But perhaps the strangest media event was when a crew from Russian TV turned up at the church to do an interview and filmed the church as it would be set up for Champing guests. We understand this will be broadcast to an audience of around 150 million on Russian TV, so maybe we’ll have some Russian guests booking very soon!

I’m not on any commission for this, but if you would like to try Champing for yourself, your family and/or your pets (dogs welcome) you can book on the Champing website. You will be made very welcome and you’ll be making a small contribution to the future heritage of our historic churches.

Lynda on BBC Radio Essex

About Post Author

Stephen Dale

I’m a life-long learner with an insatiable curiosity about life. I love travel, good food, and good company. I’m happy to share what I know with others….even the interesting stuff! My outlook on life is pretty well captured in this quote from a book about the legend of King Arthur: “The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.” ― T.H. White, The Once and Future King So much to learn, so little time!
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