Church tower abseil: vicar asks for help

MAYOR Jenny Kenton.

MAYOR Jenny Kenton.

First published in News

THE prospects of a charity abseil in aid of a Chard church are hanging by a thread as its organisers appeal for help.

Mayor of Chard Cllr Jenny Kenton and the vicar of St Mary’s Church, the Rev Sue Tucker, are hoping to abseil down the side of the tower before May.

But they need someone with expertise and training to co-ordinate the challenge to comply with strict health and safety laws.

Money raised would go towards the Mayor’s chosen charities and the £125,000 project to fix the south side of the roof at the 11th Century church.

The Rev Tucker said: “It is all a health and safety thing, so we are looking for someone who can help us sort out the abseil safely, similar to the one the Marines did at St Mary Magdalene church in Taunton.

“We are very keen to raise money because the roof urgently needs repairs and we are hoping to have enough money by the end of summer.”

After a number of grants, including £83,000 from the English Heritage Lottery Fund, the church still needs to raise about £15,000.

The church held a Burns Night and auction of promises on Saturday to boost funds. Cllr Kenton said the challenge will see her meet one of her worst fears.

She said: “I am absolutely petrified of heights, so it’s not something I would relish doing, but we had a meeting with the vicar and we were talking about ideas on how to raise money.

“A teddy bear abseil was mentioned and then it progressed to us doing it.

“I said I would do it if the vicar did. Neither of us are very keen on it but if it’s going to raise money to finish the roof, it’s worth it. We need to do something.”

Anyone who can help can call Rev Tucker on 01460-261897.

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