Spiderman, fairy and Bishop team up to save roof

An unlikely trio of a bishop, a fairy and comic book superhero Spiderman teamed up to abseil down a 90 foot tower in a quest to save a church roof.

The Bishop of Burnley Rt Rev Philip North joined with parishioners of St John’s Church on Preston Road in Whittle-le-Woods for a unique fundraising mission.

Getting ready: The Bishop of Burnley Rt Rev Philip North and Spiderman prepare to abseil down the 90 foot tower

Getting ready: The Bishop of Burnley Rt Rev Philip North and Spiderman prepare to abseil down the 90 foot tower

The church needs to raise £80,000 to fix the roof and Bishop Philip, the second most senior Anglican leader in Lancashire, revealed he now understands why God made humans walk on the ground.

He said: “I like a challenge and this certainly qualified. It was absolutely terrifying.

“The experience was so scary – I couldn’t believe how scary it was. I know now why God made us to walk on the ground.”

Chorley councillor Eric Bell was one of three octogenarians to successfully sail down the tower.

The experience was so scary – I couldn’t believe how scary it was. I know now why God made us to walk on the ground

The 81-year-old ward councillor for Clayton-le-Woods and Whittle-le-Woods said: “It was an excellent day. Luckily the weather went well.

“I believe they had 40 people doing it. Three of us over 80s did it. The hardest part was getting up the stairs, the church tower is 90 foot tall so it was quite a lot of steps!

“We had a few people dressed up and we raised quite a lot of money.

“But we are still a long way away from the £80,000 total and we desperately need to fix the church roof.”

And Bishop Philip urged people to support the church’s campaign to get a new roof.

He said: “I was looking forward to it without much concern until I was at the top of a similar sized church tower recently, which made me more than a little apprehensive about the decision I had made to do the abseil down this one.

“But the event was for a very good cause and I was in good hands.

“I hope people donate to the church to help raise the refurbishment funds they need.”

• If you wish to donate visit this website: www.stjohnsonline.org.uk.”