Abseilers go over the top for global development

By agency reporter
October 18, 2013

A husband-to-be is to make an unusual show of commitment to his bride by abseiling down the tower of the church in which they are to be wed.

David Oakman, aged 33, has been roped in to the abseil by his bride Deborah Mansfield of Hertfordshire. The pair plan to wed at St Mary’s Church in Gillingham, Dorset, next summer but first David has pledged to tie a different sort of knot.

“We heard about the Christian Aid challenge when we visited the church for a wedding meeting,” says David.

“Local priest Peter Greenwood was inviting his congregation to take part and I jokingly mentioned to Deborah that I might be interested, although I don’t like heights at all. After the service she enrolled me anyway.”

“But it’s a great cause, and joining in the community abseil to raise funds for people in need around the world seems like a great idea.”

“Deborah and I will be coming down from Hertfordshire on the day, along with Maisie, our 11-month-old Bichon who is the apple of our eye. Both sets of parents are coming to support, so it’ll be quite an occasion”.

Other people joining in the fun on Friday (25 October 2013) include vicar Peter Greenwood, the new Gillingham Methodist Minister Paul Arnold and the Bishop of Sherborne, Graham Kings.

The Rev Peter Greenwood commented: “Christian Aid got in contact and asked if they could organise an abseil down St Mary’s church tower. Of course we said ‘yes’! Supporting Christian Aid, which works in partnership with other organisations in many countries, means we can show God's love around the world in practical ways.”

The Mayor of Gillingham, Councillor Val Pothecary, will officially open the abseil event from the top of the church tower in High Street, Gillingham.


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