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Four hundred feet down

25 July 2014

THE Express Lift Tower in Northampton, in Peterborough diocese, is said to be one of the highest official abseil sites in Europe. The Bishop of Brixworth, the Rt Revd John Holbrook, recently descended, followed by 85-year-old Fred Samwell (right), said to be the oldest person ever to make the 400-foot descent.

Together with several other members of the Kingsthorpe group of churches, the two men were helping to raise funds for ongoing repairs for Canon Jane Butler's three churches of St John's, St Mark's, and St David's, including the organ at St John's, which is due to undergo a £30,000 refit later this year. The combined effort, they hope, will have raised more than £1000.

It was not the first time that the Bishop has abseiled down a tower, Canon Butler says, but he said it was the highest and scariest. The redoubtable Mr Samwell, on the other hand, said that he had once abseiled from an even higher point on the Zambesi river.

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