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Over the edge

05 October 2012

ARRIVING at his first curacy at Derby Cathedral, the Revd Andy Trenier found an unexpected item on his schedule of jobs to tackle: a sponsored abseil down the cathedral tower.

It took no account of the fact that Mr Trenier is one of those people with a real fear of heights. Even when he was taken up the tower, he could not go near the edge, he told me. But he was committed to it, as was the Dean of Derby, the Very Revd John Davies, who also had not abseiled before. Together with several others, they were to raise money for both the cathedral and a Derby-based charity, the Padley Group, that works with some of the most socially excluded people in society - homeless, or with mental-health problems, or addicted to drugs and alcohol.

Following the Dean over the edge was by far the most difficult part, Mr Trenier told me; "but I knew people were watching from below"; so he was able to nerve himself to do it. Once on the way down the 65-metre (211-foot) tower, he found himself almost enjoying it as he swung himself clear of the clock face. He and the Dean (above) between them raised more than £2000, and, given all the others taking part, the final sum will be several thousand pounds more.

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