AN artist’s project to draw every Anglican Church in the Diocese of Hereford will come to an end this month after 15 years of steady work.

Reg Portman started drawing his parish church as therapy after an illness in 2000 and has been working steadily ever since.

“What started as a refresher exercise in ‘line drawing’ at my then local church of Ford, near Shrewsbury, became a project to complete all the parish churches in Hereford Diocese,” said Mr Portman. “I only have the Cathedral left to do.”

There are more than 400 church buildings in the most rural diocese of the Church of England which geographically covers Herefordshire, South Shropshire and parishes in parts of Wales and Worcestershire. The artist has included those churches which have "closed" during the 15 years he has been working on the project.

Mr Portman has visited every church to do a pencil sketch of the mostly historic listed buildings in lots of detail while he is on site.

He completes the pen and ink drawings, during the winter months at his home in Shropshire.

During his trips to the south of the Diocese he was accommodated by local church goers to save him the drive every day.

“He has become a bit of a celebrity over the years, being a sociable person he was always happy for people to chat to him while sketching,” said Anni Holden, spokesperson for the Diocese.

“In the last few years we have advertised his whereabouts on Facebook which amused him no end and his grandchildren!”

The Diocese hopes to exhibit a large selection of the A3 sized originals in Hereford Cathedral in 2016 or 2017.

It is also hoped that signed copies can be sold to each church which would like a ‘Reg Portman’. It is likely that the drawings will be housed in the Cathedral Archive.

“We are very fortunate that at the beginning of the third Millennium we have a record of every Anglican Church in the Diocese, which is quite amazing,” added Anni. “Reg is a super bloke and carried on despite the illness and death of his wife of 60 years.

"His drawings are detailed, although he does move the odd tree or gravestone if it gets in the way of the building! We are really grateful for what he has done. What an achievement!”

Mr Portman will be drawing the Cathedral sometime this week, weather permitting.