96-year-old abseils 50ft down side of church for charity

96-year-old abseils 50ft down side of church for charity

England, UK: A congregation would usually gather inside their church building – but a fundraising event at Holy Trinity Church, Dacre Banks in Harrogate, saw 24 people abseiling down its 50ft-high tower.

On Sunday 9th June, members of the congregation ranging from ages 10 to 96 - plus the Vicar - descended the fifty-foot tower to raise money for its restoration. Dr Leonard Barrett, 96, was the oldest abseiler to complete the mission, with the help of instructors.

Revd Alastair Ferneley told The Stray Ferret news outlet: “Several of us had signed up and been sponsored by friends and family for the event and then we opened it up, for a donation, to anyone who wanted to have a go. I was a bit concerned when Leonard said he wanted to have a go."

The vicar admitted that he wasn't particularly keen on the descent despite being an experienced mountain walker.

"It's quite a climb to the top inside, involving narrow stairs and ladders," he said, adding that "shuffling yourself over the edge and trusting to the rope is not something even the young and fit find themselves able to do".

The high-flying challenge was the second of its kind at the church after a 2022 abseil proved hugely popular.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards renovating the church’s interior and restoring its clockface - the building hasn’t been updated since it was restored after a major fire in 1991.