1. Peterborough Cathedral is inviting the adventurous to take part in a sponsored abseil down its 144ft west front. More than 100 abseilers have already signed up for the event on Friday 8 July and Saturday 9 July, supervised by Derby Mountain Rescue. All proceeds will go towards the Peterborough 900 Campaign, which is raising funds for improved facilities at the cathedral in the run-up to its 900th anniversary in 2018. Entrants must be aged 16 or over, and in good health. A registration fee of £50 is required. For more information visit www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk/.
2. The professional organ recitalist David Briggs (in photo) was due to launch a celebratory recital series at Gloucester Cathedral this week to mark the 350th anniversary of its organ case. He was due to give his performance of the Chorale-Fantasia: Straf’ mich nicht in deinem Zorn, Op. 40 No. 2., by Max Reger (1873-1916) on Wednesday. A further five concerts with five well-known organists have been scheduled for each month to October. The organ, which was originally constructed in 1666 by Thomas Harris, is thought to be the only complete 17th-century cathedral organ case in the UK. For a full programme of events visit www.gloucestercathedral.org.uk.
3. The clergy in Cumbria are invited to explore the importance of rural ministry in a free training day on Monday. The diocese of Carlisle’s Rural Officer, the Revd Sarah Lunn (in photo), who put together the schedule, said: “The county is predominantly a rural one. In a ministry context, that creates particular challenges and opportunities, which we will be exploring.” The day will include exploration of “what someone who lives in a rural setting understands to be rural life.” The event, organised by the ecumenical Rural Forum for Cumbria, will be held at the Westmorland County Agricultural Society, near Heversham, from 9.30 a.m. The Revd Chris Blackshaw, a Methodist, will give a presentation on Agricultural Chaplaincy.
4. St John’s, Hurst Green, a small rural church in Lancashire, has received an Eco-Church Bronze Award for ten years’ environmental work in the community. Members of the congregation are seen here celebrating last week. It is one of five churches in the UK to have received the award, including St Paul’s Cathedral and York Minster. The work of St John’s includes an annual Creation Sunday service, promotion of fair trade, and the installation of a composting lavatory last year. The Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Revd Julian Henderson, said that the church had “a real heart for caring for the environment”. Eco-Church is run by A Rocha in partnership with Christian Aid, the Church of England, the Methodist Church, and Tearfund.
5. A champagne fountain, two bishops, and Handel’s “Zadok the Priest” marked the completion of the £600,000 refurbishment of Otley Parish Church, near Leeds, last month. A eucharist was celebrated by the Bishop of Richmond, the Rt Revd Paul Slater; and the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, preached at the Civic Service of Dedication. The Vicar, the Revd Graham Buttanshaw (right in photo), and MP for Leeds North West, Greg Mulholland, poured the champagne fountain (left). “After ten years of opening buildings and projects, this is a first for me,” Mr Mullholland said. The Associate Priest, the Revd Paul Walker, said: “Hundreds of people came to view the new stalls and prayer stations, and simply to gaze in wonder at the transformation that has taken place.”