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Website and book on historic Long Mynd church now live

With a £200,000 renovation now complete, supporters of an ancient rural church are now turning their attention to raising its profile – with a new website, sign, leaflets and the first ever book on its history now available.

The tiny farmers’ church of St John the Baptist at Myndtown, on the slopes of the Long Mynd, has been restored to its early medieval glory and saw about 300 visitors turn out for a re-opening at the end of July.

Project manager John Burt said: "The project’s terms also included the provision of interpretation and display boards in the church, an information leaflet on the church and surrounding area and leaflets detailing walks, bike rides and horse rides around the area, the installation of brown tourist signs and a range of visitor promotion activities."

He said one result was an 80-page fully illustrated book that brought together everything unearthed during the project, from historical records to an account of the uncovering of one of the oldest bells in the country.

He said it was originally planned as an information leaflet, but grew dramatically.

"Nothing had been published about Myndtown before and visitors were given no information at all,” he said.

“Many months of intensive research in Shropshire Archives, the Hereford Public Records Office, libraries and the internet have resulted in a publication which provides, not only a guide to the church, but a history of the parish and useful information about the surrounding area, enabling visitors to expand a visit to the church into a full day or weekend out.”

The book can be purchased on the new website, www.myndtownchurch.co.uk, designed by Debbie Wales, of Bishop’s Castle’s Girl Friday Web Services, which has gone live in addition to the church's Facebook page which reached almost 19,000 followers during the seven months of the delivery phase alone.

Debbie said: “Whilst Facebook has been a great outlet for immediate news on Myndtown, it was felt that a website would provide a longer-term information source that can be accessed without having to scroll down a page to find older posts.”

In addition to providing information on the history of the church, the Heritage Lottery Fund project, a photo gallery, news, events and activities, the website is being used to distribute the literature produced by the project.

A walks leaflet has also been written by church warden Malcolm Corfield and leaflets on bike and horse rides by the other church warden, Matt Mellor and his wife Sally, respectively, all downloadable from the website.

And exhibition featuring work from the 'Myndtown Art Project' on the subject of the church and its surroundings is also currently on display inside the church and can be seen on the website, with prints available for purchase.

All proceeds from prints and book will go to the church's maintenance fund.

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