Festival of Churches Coach trips – Learning Days

Please find below information about a couple of learning coach tours organised by the Festival of Churches group. They are good days out with lots to see and get ideas from. It is not too late to book and it would be good to see as many of you as possible aboard.

Mike Teague (01746 789592) has the booking form and you can choose either (or both!) trip. The cost is £25 which includes coach travel, all entrance fees coffee/tea and lunch and the sessions at each venue.

You will see that our main speakers are experts and each tour will be led by Tim Bridges, another expert, based locally. Numbers are restricted only when the coach is full, so share this information in the parish too.

 How do we ‘manage’ tourism and tourists through our churches? What can we do to make our visitors happy? How much information do we need to give them? Are there practical things we can do in our buildings? We have arranged 2 days to look at these questions and hopefully provide some answers. We will be boarding a coach and getting hands on ideas from other organisations heavily involved in the tourism ‘industry’, the fastest growing in the world! We will learn how others manage tourism, to get practical ideas to implement at local level – especially around local ‘stories’ and to share ideas on improved visitor welcome. And how do we look after volunteers? All knowledge is on our coaches!

Tour 1 – 8th September 2015

10.00 meet at Berrington Hall, coffee on arrival  HR6 0DW

10.30 Talk by Tony Berry

12.00 noon leave Berrington Hall

12.20 arrive Yarpole church

12.50 Talk at Yarpole

1pm Lunch

1.45 leave Yarpole

2.00 Croft church

2.45 leave Croft church

3.10 arrive Stretford church

3.45 leave Stretford church

4.15 Berrington Hall car park HR6 0DW

Tour 2 – 1st October 2015

9.45 leave Church Stretton Railway station  SY6 6PG

10.30 arrive at Museum of Iron,  Coalbrookdale – coffee on arrival

10.45 Talk and tour

11.45 leave Museum of Iron

12.00 arrive Coalbrookdale Church

12.40 leave Coalbrookdale Church

1pm lunch at Wroxeter Hotel

2.25 Wroxeter church

3.00 leave Wroxeter Church

3.10 Atcham Church – tea & coffee

4.00 leave Atcham

4.30 Church Stretton SY6 6PG


Parking is available at Berrington Hall and in Church Stretton at the Railway Station or in the town close by. The days have been arranged in Shropshire and Herefordshire but you may choose which one you wish to join. The cost is £25 per person which covers entry to venues, refreshments, lunch, coach and learning


Booking deadline:

Friday, 21st August 2015 & Friday, 11th September 2015 respectively


The experts you will meet


Tony Berry has been with the National Trust since the early 1990s, working regionally and nationally in PR, marketing, commercial development and learning. As Visitor Experience Director, he’s now responsible for the way in which the Trust welcomes visitors and brings its properties to life. He’s been closely involved in some of the Trust’s most original and eyebrow-raising projects – including the acquisition and opening of Sir Paul McCartney’s childhood home, creating the award-winning visitor experience at the Back to Backs in Birmingham and – more recently – the ‘Bringing Places to Life’ strategy that is transforming the way the Trust presents its properties. (Tour 1) 


Paul Gossage studied history at St David’s University College Lampeter and went on to do a post graduate diploma in Hospitality Management at Blackpool College, subsequently he has spent his entire career in the tourism industry. Initially working within the hotel sector he worked for Queens Moat House Hotels in a variety of sales and marketing roles and then was part of the opening team at Coombe Abbey Hotel in Coventry. At Warwick Castle he helped develop the Castle’s domestic groups and education business and since joining the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust 14 years ago he has masterminded the Trust’s marketing strategy. (Tour 2)