WITH the glittering sparkle of Christmas now wearing off, the New Year is a time for purer pursuits and healthier pastimes.

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Angels & Pinnacles is a community project that offers a new way of discovering the heritage on your doorstep without piling pressure on your already-strained budget.

At the heart of the project are six medieval churches, each a treasure house of breathtaking architecture, dazzling stained glass, elaborate memorials, and exquisite carving.

These are the magnificent Angels & Pinnacles ‘hub’ churches of Framlingham, Clare, Mildenhall, Woolpit, Eye, Southwold - each pointing the way to three other beautiful historic churches in the area, all open daily in daylight hours throughout the year.

In 2013, they are launching heritage trails in partnership with Discover Suffolk for each of these church clusters, meaning you can hike or bike around the churches in each area.

Marion Welham, church buildings and tourism officer for the Diocese of St Emdundsbury and Ipswich, said: “The good news about Angels & Pinnacles is that everyone can join in and it doesn’t involve over-spending, over-eating, making an impression, or driving for hours to see grumpy relatives. It’s quite simply re-discovering what’s been there for generations — something irreplaceable, priceless and typically, wonderfully Suffolk.

“Churches are full of shared histories and memories and great places to explore or just to escape from the whirlwind that is 21st century life.”

Marion added: “It needn’t cost you a bean but most visitors love the experience and donate what they can afford to ensure these ancient buildings are safeguarded for future generations.”

Angels & Pinnacles is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, English Heritage, the Lord Belstead Charitable Trust, the Scarfe Charitable Trust, and Discover Suffolk.

Last year they had artist-led workshops for over 250 primary school children and about half as many older people.

Find out the latest about this ground-breaking project at www.angelsandpinnacles.org.uk

What is your New Year’s resolution?

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