The Rev Peter Greenwood of St Mary’s Church, Gillingham, was the first to abseil down the church’s tower recently for Christian Aid. Mr Greenwood said: “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, Cllr Val Pothecary, officially opened the abseil event from the top of the church tower at noon, after the Town Crier, David Wathen announced her from the tower to those gathered below.
Husband-to-be David Oakman, who plans to marry his bride, Deborah Mansfield, was also roped into an abseil later in the day. The pair plan to wed at St Mary’s next summer but first David pledged to tie a different sort of knot.
“We heard about the 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 really 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.”