CHURCHES throughout south Shropshire and the Teme Valley have fallen silent.

The churches have decided to suspend services for the foreseeable future in order to support the social distancing that has been introduced to combat the coronavirus Covid-19.

The Festival of English Music planned at St Laurence Church in Ludlow in the spring has also been cancelled.

St Laurence Church in Ludlow is designated as a greater church and has been involved in an extensive programme of change to make it more accessible to the community.

But the running of the church is very expensive, and it is highly dependent upon donations from the many visitors who come to the town and visit St Laurence every year.

In addition to the Church of England, the Methodist Church and the Chief Rabi have also suspended services.

Where practical, churches could remain open as places of prayer for the community, but social-distancing recommendations must be observed. If possible, services should be conducted by clergy and live-streamed.