An idyllic Greek chapel has banned all foreign weddings after a raunchy snap of a British couple apparently performing a sex act in front of the sacred sanctuary went viral.

Matthew Lunn, 27, posted the photo of new bride Carly, 34, on Facebook as she kneels in her white dress in front of him, while he punches the air with his trousers around his ankles.

The Birmingham pair said they posed for the cheeky snap to show their unique sense of humour when they married last month on Rhodes.

But the island's Bishop Kyrillos of Rhodes has decided to ban all foreign weddings at the monastery of St Paul - forcing hundreds of couples around the world to cancel their dream day at the beauty spot.

Giorgos Eleftheriou, president of the local Lindos community who also performed the wedding, told The Times: "Everyone is really upset. The British community that live here are embarrassed and upset, the Greek community are outraged and worried about the impact for their businesses."

"Shame on those two for the damage they have done. Would they have done the same in their homeland; in front of a British chapel, a Jewish temple, a Muslim mosque?"

He added: "I have hundreds of soon-to-be brides from Britain and all over the world calling me today in tears because of this decision. We are one of the most famous wedding destinations in the world and we are booked solid through to 2021.

"We are Greek and we cherish our traditions and the sanctity of our religious sites."

The picture has spread through the British press in recent days, and has been shown on Greek television and in their newspapers.

Newlyweds Matthew and Carly Lunn posted a pic of them apparently performing a sex act in front of the scared monastery of St Paul in Rhodes where they had just been married
Newlyweds Matthew and Carly Lunn posted a pic of them apparently performing a sex act in front of the scared monastery of St Paul in Rhodes where they had just been married Facebook

Carly said she was stunned by the reaction, but defended the photo as a prank.

"It was something we said we'd do for a joke, we agreed to do it before we got married and followed through with it," she told The Mirror. "Everyone's loved it, it was a brilliant wedding photo."

The image was taken by a family member of Matthew's after their wedding on 25 September.

"It was just a photo, we did it away from the guests and it was a bit of fun," said Carly.

She added: "We expected a lot of laughs and jokes from people, but didn't expect it to be as popular as it was. People back in England were commenting on it, the whole thing went mad."

A local resident told The Sun: "Even though it was a simulated act they felt it defiled the church.

"The situation was really that the local priest and church and the mayor had no choice but to say that there will be no further weddings - 99% of the weddings are British."