Gotta catch 'em all!

Diane and Malcolm King are committed church-crawlers. After a recent visit to St Denis's, East Hatley, we stopped them for a quick chat.

Diane and Malcolm King at St Denis's, East Hatley
Photo: Peter Mann, Buzz Associates

We are Diane King and Malcolm King. We live in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire and have both been retired for a number of years.

We have had a very keen interest in historic houses, castles and churches for quite a while now. We are also members of National Trust, Historic Houses Association and English Heritage.

Our interest in churches began in about 1990. We were on holiday in Wales and went into St Davids Cathedral. We were totally enthralled.

From then on everywhere we go we try to visit churches in the areas we pass through. This has led us to having been in every cathedral in the country. It took us 15 years. We've also visited about 3,750 churches.

We first discovered FoFC about 10 years ago when we went into Manordeifi church, Pembrokeshire. We have now visited 32 of the Friends’ churches.

Before we embark on a church-crawl, we do a lot of research online, on websites such as A Church Near You. We also refer to books e.g. Simon Jenkins’s 1,000 Best Churches, Betjeman’s Best British Churches, Wales's Best 100 Churches and similar books.

To keep track of where to go and where we have been, we purchased an atlas and underlined every place that has a church. Once we have been to that church, we highlight it. We take lots of photos and collect church guidebooks.

We have three favourite FoFC churches - Llanfair Kilgeddin, for the murals; Llangwm Uchaf, for the screen; and Mundon, which is just a lovely, well-preserved church.

The next few months we will be concentrating on Welsh churches as we travel backwards and forwards to our caravan in Tenby, South Wales.