SOUTH Shropshire is preparing for a visit from the most senior leader of the Church of England in more than 20 years.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby will be making a three-day visit to the Diocese of Hereford later this month, which includes south Shropshire.

During his time in the diocese he will see the work of the Church in some of the most rural parishes in England.

He will attended church services, meet education and business leaders, farmers, visit schools, care homes and Hereford livestock market.

The Archbishop will also see the work of Vennture, an organisation providing street pastor services in Hereford.

His visits will also allow him to see how pastoral care is provided to some of the most rural communities, supporting farmers and their families.

The Bishop of Hereford, the Right Reverend Richard Frith said: “It’s a real privilege to be able to host Archbishop Justin in the Diocese for three days.

“He will meet a wide range of people and see how our hard work across parishes and communities in the counties of Herefordshire and Shropshire is delivering positive change.

“The Archbishop has a real gift for being an inspirational speaker and I’m sure that people will want to come and listen.”

The tour will be themed around the Archbishop’s three priorities for the Church,which are prayer, evangelism and reconciliation.

The Archbishop’s visit, from October 14-16, will see him meet a wide range of people from across the 420 churches in the diocese.

Other events include an evening in conversation with the Archbishop at The Courtyard in Hereford on October 14.

The three-day-visit is expected to be one of the highlights of Bishop Richard’s final month in office as Bishop of Hereford before he retires.

Hereford’s new bishop, Richard Jackson, is known for his passion for motorbiking.

Often seen astride his Harley Davidson, Bishop Richard, affectionately known as the ‘biking bishop’, will take up his role in the New Year and will be the 106th Bishop of Hereford.

Bishop Richard said at the time he was “immensely humbled” to accept the job.