David Joyner

If "glamping" makes your skin crawl, but you're not quite ready to pitch your own tent, "champing," a heavenly new camping portmanteau, might just be your saving grace.

July 08, 2015

Sleeping through a religious service is normally frowned upon, but this summer, three historic churches in the English countryside are encouraging travelers to get some in-pew shut-eye as part of a new "champing" (camping in church) program put on by The Churches Conservation Trust.

Started in an effort to not only raise funds and preserve these landmark structures, but also to encourage the "slow tourism" trend, the program runs through September of this year, and gives visitors the opportunity to rent a whole church for a two-day, one-night holiday. 

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Three sites—The Church of St Cyriac & St Julitta at Swaffham Prior in Cambridgeshire, The Church of St Mary the Virgin in Fordwich, Kent, and the All Saints' Church at Aldwincle in Northamptonshire—are currently available for private rental, and each offers a unique accomodation experience (think a fully un-plugged evening at Aldwincle or bedding beneath 17th century wall paintings in Fordwich).

Better yet, each champing stay costs just £60 per person per night, including breakfast, and activities like canoeing and meditation can also be arranged for a small fee. 

For more information, head to visitchurches.org.uk.

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