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Up and down to heaven

IT WAS a most uplifting occasion when the Bishop of Kingston, the Rt RevRichard Cheetham, suffragan in Southwark diocese, blessed thnewly shingled spire, new windows, and refurbished stonework of the tower aChrist Church, Colliers Wood.The Priest-in-Charge, the Revd Sylvia Roberts, said they wanted to d"something dramatic" to mark the end of the renovation that had been plannefor so long; so they hired a cherry-picker crane to take the Bishop closer tthe objects of his blessing. First, he rose with Sylvia Mills, the pastoraauxiliary in the parish who had been the primary fund-raiser, and the Bishoblessed, in the name of God the Father, the new cedar shingles that wergleaming golden in the sun.An outburst of bell-ringing followed while Mrs Roberts took her place witthe Bishop. They rose again to bless the new windows in the name of God thSon; and then more bell-ringing until the Bishop went up the third timeaccompanied by the curate, the Revd Mary Hancock, to splash holy water on thnew stonework in the name of the Holy Spirit.By this time, a crowd, including the children from the local school, hagathered to watch the elevating experience that all four participantthoroughly enjoyed.

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