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Newcastle: Chilly dip

21 December 2012

IT WAS only on the day before that the Revd Matthew Knox, Vicar of Spittal, Scremerston and Tweedmouth, in Newcastle diocese, was rung up by the staff of the Garden House care home and told that they were going to do a sponsored dip in the North Sea to raise funds for his parish. Mr Knox tells me that he was so taken aback that he felt the least he could do was join them.

And that is how he came to be standing up to his waist in the icy waves, still wearing his clerical collar (above). The acting manager of Garden House, Jane Filer, said that, as he had started to provide services and pastoral care for the House, they thought it would be nice to give something back by raising money for the parish (which, Mr Knox tells me, is a very poor one).

"When we told him about the dip, he was only too happy to join us; and, while it was very cold, it was a lot of fun." But they were in for the shortest time possible, Mr Knox said, sounding as though he was still shivering. "It was a complete surprise when they said they were raising money for the parish, but I was only too glad to take part."

The staff had been sponsored by the residents and their families, and hope that they have raised more than £300.

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