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New brochure to promote county churches

By Lucy Todman | Local Hubs | Published:

A hundred county churches are promoting their amazing buildings packed with architecture, music, history, heritage, monuments, carvings and most of all, stories of real people.

Shropshire Churches Tourism Group (SCTG) have just printed their latest brochure, a 24-page production featuring each of the buildings.

Thirty thousand of the leaflets are being distributed across the county to Visitor Information Centres, member churches and other tourism attractions. The booklet has a map, directions and some information about the best hundred churches for visitors in Shropshire. The group is working to increase visitor numbers to the county’s most significant historic buildings.

“Shropshire’s landscape is littered with stunning buildings, some of them a thousand years old, and our countryside would be very different if it wasn’t dotted with towers and spires,” said Anne Pilsbury, Chair of SCTG. “It’s not simply that our churches are old, they provide a vital element of our history not just because of the buildings but of the stories they contain.”

Adderley Church

The churches featured can be found all over the county, from Llanyblodwel in the north western corner to Highley in the south east, Adderley in the north east to Bucknell in the south west, and lots of places in between. Mainly Anglican the 100 includes two Catholic Churches, a Greek Orthodox building, the Unitarian Church in Shrewsbury and its latest member, the United Reformed Church also in Shrewsbury.

Diverse

Buildings are as diverse as Heath Chapel, its Norman origins untouched since it was built to the group's newest member, the United Reformed Church in Shrewsbury.

Those with Saxon remains include Stanton Lacy, next door to Ludlow racecourse, and the unusual Greek Orthodox Church at Sutton on the edge of Shrewsbury.

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The Greek Orthodox Church in Shrewsbury

Monastic settlements which predate the work of King Henry VIII in getting rid of them, include Much Wenlock, Shrewsbury Abbey and Wombridge in Telford.

Reflect

Moving through the centuries the inclusion of one of the oldest Unitarian Churches (1662) in High Street in Shrewsbury reflects the Reformation and the changes in religious practices which that movement heralded.

“SCTG are really pleased that we have increased membership again, reaching the three-figure number for the first time. It has only existed in the last 10 years and has seen growth every other year when it prints a new brochure,” added Ann. "Their inclusion in the brochure guarantees a warm welcome for visitors, not just from far away, but for Salopians who have not yet stepped through their local church door. Pick up the brochure or go to our website and see if you can find one you fancy having a look at. I recommend Diddlebury - stunning church and a great name for a village..”

Alongside the brochure and website, discovershropshirechurches.co.uk/ Shropshire Churches Tourism Group has a Facebook page, featuring member churches in more detail and lots of pictures as well as reminding followers of special events and latest news. We encourage everyone to give us a visit and ‘like’ SCTG.

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman
@shroptod

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.

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