John Ainscough of Holden Wood Antiques in the former 19th century St Stephen’s Church at Haslingden.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Some continuing places of worship have opened themselves up to events including antiques fairs and here we look at two of these plus two antiques centres in former churches.

Discover north London

Keeley Rosendale of Discover Vintage ran her first event in the south of England last September when she launched her vintage home show at St Mary’s Church in Primrose Hill, north London.

Rosendale’s next outing here is on Saturday, February 26. She said: “We’ve booked 43 dealers in record time now that we know the lovely space better – we had slightly fewer in September.”

Go to Beds


A view from PB’s Antiques & Collectors’ Fair which runs monthly at St Paul’s Church in Bedford.

Paula Buckland is PB’s Antiques & Collectors’ Fair which runs monthly at St Paul’s Church in Bedford, a large building of cathedral proportions which dominates the town. Plenty of jewellery, ceramics and glass are for sale which catch the light from the stained glass windows. The next fair is on Saturday, March 5.

Lancs church lifted

John Ainscough is the owner and founder of the well-visited Holden Wood Antiques which he opened 25 years ago in the former 19th century St Stephen’s Church at Haslingden in the Rossendale Valley in Lancashire.

It is now a Grade-II listed building with 60 dealers.

“I had always loved antiques as a hobby and had seen the building often thinking what a great antiques centre this would make,” said Ainscough. “It’s a strong special place in a lovely setting and antiques look good here. We built a tearoom on the side so people make a day out of it. It’s a privilege to have been here so long with such a strong family of customers.”

The wow factor in Wolverhampton

The 19th century St Luke’s Church in Upper Villiers Street, Blakenhall in Wolverhampton, was empty for more than a decade before its doors reopened three years ago after being bought for £1 by Birmingham property developer Czero Developments.

It is now the busy Wolverhampton Antiques and Vintage Emporium run by Dave Usher.

“‘Wow’, say customers who see the interior of the building for the first time,” said Usher. “This is a great and atmospheric space which lends itself so well to the antiques here.”