Shropshire churches work on warm welcome to tourists
Churches across Shropshire are being encouraged to think about how they could welcome more visitors.
The Shropshire Churches Tourism Group has had great success in promoting member churches since it was set up four years ago.
It has 70 member churches already, but the group's chair Christine Tinker says she would welcome more.
"This is one of those things where bigger is best, as we can all help each other," she said.
The group features member churches in its printed brochure and on its website so that visitors to the area can find out about them and their points of interest.
Most but not all of the 300 historic church buildings in Shropshire are Anglican and the tourism group works to make visits as informative and welcoming as possible.
The group is preparing to print its third brochure, which will be available to pick up in Visitor Information Centres.
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"We want to let as many churches possible aware of the existence of the group which is still not that old," says Christine.
"We hope that parishioners will want to be as welcoming to visitors as they can, that visitors will be able to find out about their church through the website or the brochure and so they will see the benefits of the Shropshire Churches Tourism Group."
She continued: "This is not just about churches, tourism is worth more than £500million to the county and our churches play a major role in that industry.
"Tourism is also a major employer and if we can help maintain that then that only adds more value for all of us."
Membership is open to all places of worship and all denominations. The membership fee is £30 per year making it £60 for 2014/2015 and includes an entry in the Discover Shropshire Churches Brochure published at the end of 2014, entry on the SCTG website, newsletter, participation in promotional activities and a vote at SCTG meetings.
Churches interested in applying for membership, click here