Frequently Asked Questions

We get lots of questions about Champing™. Some of them are just “Huh”? and “What sort of a word is that?”, to which we answer it is a combination of the words church and camping, and it amuses us no end.

And most importantly, when you book a champ you receive a full information pack prior to your stay (but without the lanyards or itinerary).

  • Do I have to share the church with strangers?


    Absolutely not (unless you consider some people in your party to be strange, but that’s something we can’t help with). It will be all yours, for you and yours alone. Once the booking is confirmed and the deposit paid, no other booking will be accepted. Please note – although you have sole Champing™ rights to the church after 4pm and before 10am, please be aware that some of our churches can receive a high footfall from visitors in the summer months. They might be pleasantly surprised to see you, so please make sure to tell them what it’s all about – spread the Champing™ love, people…

  • How much does Champing™ cost?

    We don’t believe in high season, low season or anywhere in between. Our prices are the same for the entire period our churches are open – and they often reduce in price as we have regular offers and promotions. Click here for our price list
  • Do I have to bring my own bedding?


    Our rates always include the use of camp beds, chairs, lanterns, candles, tea and coffee-making facilities, a loo – oh, and we chuck an ancient historic church in with the price too. More information about exactly what we offer will be sent to you at least a fortnight prior to your trip.

    We can offer you ChampBed hire, which means that not only do you get to sleep in our comfy fold-out camping beds by the glow of the battery-powered candle (more romantic than it sounds…), you can hire a bedding set from us for £25 golden coins of the realm. Each bedding set comprises a cosy mummy sleeping bag, and a plump pillow complete with protector and pillowcase – none of that inflatable nonsense or sad little travel pillow for us!

    These materials will be stored off-site as ancient stone buildings aren’t the best places for storing textiles, and our Church Mice will launder the linens for that fresh sheets feel! Due to the cost of the laundering and logistics we will charge £25 per person for the hire, for the duration of your stay.

    If you’re arriving by car, you can bring anything you like, the kitchen sink if you really must (although without taps of H2O to turn on, it might be a little disappointing). If in doubt, pack it.

  • Will the church be heated?

    (Also known as “Will I be cold”? or “Just how cold is it”?) 

    Generally not. We find that churches are deliciously cool in the summer, but as huge open spaces they do tend to cool your body too, over time! The truth is that sleeping in churches is no colder than being under canvas; plenty of layers are the answer. And have another glass of warming wine…

  • Is breakfast included?

    Breakfast is not included but we try to offer the option to have breakfast at a venue near each church (even delivered at Aldwincle) and the delicious choices vary from church to church. You’re very welcome to bring snacks of your own too, we only request that you don’t attempt to cook inside the church and pack your rations away, we love those poor church mice, but only as in whimsical poetry.

    Please note we’ll supply you with a kettle, crockery and cutlery, tea, coffee, hot chocolate and sugar; and of course – the essentials -a corkscrew. Just don’t forget the milk!

  • Can I bring my pets?

    Up to two good dogs are very welcome – or three, if they’re very small…
  • I’ve heard bats like churches, do you have any?

    Yes, and you might be lucky enough to spot them! Most churches have a one or two lone bats roosting in the roof. Sometimes they like to stretch their wings inside the church, so you may see a flutter high above you, but you’re more likely to see them outside, leaving to feed at dusk. If you’re interested in a bit of bat detecting, we can advise on the best churches to stay in, so do get in touch.
  • Can we drink alcohol?


    Inside the church, yes. We provide the glasses, corkscrew and bottle opener, you bring the bottle.

  • What’s included in the price?

    You get exclusive hire of your church for the night, for the most celestial sleep possible. We’ll set out your camp-beds, camp-chairs, tea & coffee making provisions (please bring your own milk), lanterns and fairy lights. Bedding and breakfast are additional extras, available in select churches only.
  • Do the churches have electricity?

    Most churches do have lights and one or two electric sockets to use. Those still off-grid and suited for that get-away-from-it-all true historical experience are churches in Aldwincle and  Wolfhampcote.  We provide lanterns and fairy lights at all churches, to give you that cosy camping glow.
  • Do the churches have hot running water?

    Most churches aren’t connected to mains supply, so instead we provide fresh bottled water from the lovely people at AquAid. You’ll still be able to heat water with the electric kettle provided, or gas stove and camping kettle supplied in churches without electricity, so you can make your morning cuppa or fill your hot water bottle for cosy night. Some even offer you their community hall kitchen to use, complete with cooking facilities and all the crockery and pots and pans to go with it, or have kitchen areas inside.  Please ask if you need something specific, we have a variety of  facilities available.
  • How about other facilities then?

    Ahh, the toilet issue. Eco is the way to go. We have discretely installed water-less thrones either inside or outside the church in cabins. They look like any other loo, expect all users must sit down at all times. For those looking for lantern-lit walks in the middle of the night, try Cooling, Edlesborough,  Holme Lacy, Langport, and Wolfhampcote. And for a slightly different experience, the quiet idyllic valley of Longsleddale has an open toilet block opposite the church (lanterns recommended). All other churches have ‘ChampLavs’ contained inside, or a normal flushing loo. You’re welcome.
  • Do I have to be a Christian to go Champing?


    No. That’s like saying that you need to be a surgeon to walk inside a hospital or only a teenager to shriek at a Taylor Swift concert (ahem….)! We welcome people from all faiths, creeds and cultures. The building remains consecrated and will always be a place for contemplation, tranquility and peace. The space has adapted to the requirements of humanity in the previous centuries and Champing™ is just the latest chapter in this ongoing tradition of change. So come on in.

  • Will there be a service on Sunday mornings?


    Not all churches will have services,  nor will any church bells start pealing at any time, or a be-cassocked choir arrive to polish their vocal chords (although that could be arranged, if you really want. Flash mob!). The church buildings that have passed to the care of the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT, the national charity protecting historic churches at risk wont have services.  Some of the Champing churches will have services, so check out the info for each one and if you’re lucky enough to book your stay when a service is due to happen, you can absolutely join in.  You’re very welcome to hold your own sermons too when the church is empty,  if you want to. Speak up, we can’t hear you at the back…

  • Can children go Champing?

    At Champ Towers we love the child species, we’re so down with the kids already, heck – some of our best friends are children…etc. Of course little people can come Champing™ (but only the nice ones).

    Seriously, children are always welcome to champ, it’s a fabulous spontaneous adventure for children aged from 1 to 101! Children can roam and explore the entire church and church yard, but please be aware that the building and grounds are still a consecrated space and rowdy games of football etc are not allowed in the church yard. There will be someone other open space nearby where the little ones can let off steam – if they have any energy left from exploring the church!

  • Can I bring food?


    Yes of course. Please just bring food that you don’t need to cook, safety (and ancient building fabric) first! As noted above, we provide tea and coffee etc. and in the fullness of time we plan to introduce the option of pre-ordering locally-sourced fayre to be waiting for you in the church. What an utter bore for our Church Mice, sampling all the local delicacies on your behalf…sigh.

  • Can I bring wax candles?


    We’re into flattering, authentic lighting schemes as much as the next Champer, but naked flames are too risky and candle wax can stain. We provide plenty of very realistic battery-operated candles (people have tried to light them in the past) and camping lanterns and torches. Please feel free to bring your own torches and lamps too, these countryside settings can get very, very dark! Oooooh!

What facilities are there?

Blanket-illustrationHeating Our Champing™ churches are generally not heated, which is why the Champing™ season only runs from during late Spring and Summer. See the answer to “will the church be heated?”.

DoNotDisturbSign-illustrationLoos Some of our churches have flushing loos. Fancy. In our other churches we provide an eco-loo that runs on solar power; a new type of composting loo or “dry separating toilet” to give it the full technical language… We call it the ChampLav. This is very hygienic, non-whiffy and comfortable! These loos don’t require plumbing, water or a sewage outlet. In some of our churches we house them in little wooden cabins complete with gargoyle above the door. You really wouldn’t know the difference, but a word to the wise – sit down at all times, everyone!

Tap-illustrationWater We supply you with chilled water machines where there is electricity, and huge containers of water with a hand pump where there is none. Unsurprisingly, not a single one of our churches have shower facilities….yet. So, best be prepared for people to give you a wide berth if you stay for more than 2 or 3 nights!

light-blub_illustrationElectricity Apart from experiencing the odd bolt of lightning, the folk who built the churches up and down the land back in ancient times hadn’t really got on board with the whole electricity thing. (They probably had much more pressing things to do, like avoiding pestilence, famine and hungry animals with jolly big teeth). Many of our churches don’t have an electrical supply at all. Some churches do, although it’s not usually a grand lighting scheme or somewhere to plug in your wine cooler. We do provide some lanterns and battery-operated candles, but feel free to bring torches, camping lanterns and whatever you feel necessary to light your Champing™ experience- just not real candles please folks!

And if you want to find out more about all things churchy…

Take a look at our light-hearted guide to the etymology of a few architectural terms, pointy bits and all.