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A RECENT fundraising event for two Lancashire churches - Holy Trinity, Hoghton and All Saints, Higher Walton - was supported by all three of the Bishops of the Diocese and has raised at least £3,700.

Rev. Hannah Boyd together with Rev. Bryn Naylor invited the Bishops - Rt Rev. Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn; Rt Rev. Philip North, Bishop of Burnley and Rt Rev. Dr Jill Duff, Bishop of Lancaster – to take part. 

Bishop Philip joined Hannah and Bryn and scores of parishioners of all ages in abseiling down the Holy Trinity church tower; meanwhile Bishop Jill presented prizes for a potato growing challenge while Bishop Julian led a special service which followed the fun day. All three also spent time meeting with and chatting to people who participated in and attended the event.  

The whole occasion was also a great chance for the church family to be together and enjoy each other’s company in the wake of lockdown and they were joined by many members of the wider community who turned up to support and take part.

Rev. Hannah Boyd said: “It was a brilliant day that brought the local community together and we were grateful to our Bishops who were able to attend. As well as participating in activities they also took time to make connections and chat to people while they were with us; something that was really appreciated by all.

“The money we have raised will be split between the churches and will help to fund a disabled ramp at All Saints and a new projector and screen at Holy Trinity.”

In a report on the event Elisabeth Sawle, Churchwarden at Holy Trinity, Hoghton, added: “Throughout the pandemic the parishes of All Saints Higher Walton and Holy Trinity Hoghton have worked hard to be a witness to their communities and to draw people together, through helping the housebound and lonely, broadcasting services and leafleting information. 

“As we came out of lockdown it seemed a wonderful opportunity to hold a joint fundraising event and reach out to the community; and as the event was held outside we were hoping it would encourage anyone who may be apprehensive about coming and meeting with others.”

  • For a longer report about the event from Elisabeth, please see below
  • As well as money given on the day of the event, the churches also have a JustGiving page if anyone wants to give online which is here: https://justgiving.com/campaign/abseil2021

Report from Elisabeth Sawle, Churchwarden: 

Throughout the pandemic the parishes of All Saints Higher Walton and Holy Trinity Hoghton have worked hard to be a witness to their communities and to draw people together, through helping the housebound and lonely, broadcasting services and leafleting information. 

As we came out of lockdown it seemed a wonderful opportunity to hold a joint fundraising event and reach out to the community; and as the event was held outside we were hoping it would encourage anyone who may be apprehensive about coming and meeting with others.

The people of Holy Trinity held a successful abseil several years ago, and so we decided that this would be something for people to look forward to and hopefully raise a lot of money for our churches.

We were delighted to have the backing of all three bishops and so we devised three challenges. 

The sponsored event was the abseil and Bishop Philip rose to the challenge to join Rev Hannah and Rev Bryn in this venture to lead scores of intrepid abseilers ‘over the top’. We were thrilled by the number of people who signed up to climb the 69 spiral steps to the top and raise money for the churches. The age range was amazing - from 7 to more than 80!

The Old Oak Garden Centre in Hoghton sponsored a Potato Challenge where folk received a pot, compost and seed potato in exchange for a donation. 

Most ‘growers’ were very excited to see if there was anything in their pot. Bishop Jill gave out the prizes for this.

And then the third challenge was devised with the help of Hoghton Scouts - an activity trail.  Here participants showed their skills in fun games such as archery, pogo stick and skipping.  There was a prize for all taking part and a special one for the overall winner.

Naturally there were other events happening alongside all this, including face painting, a bouncy castle and refreshments.  It was a wonderful day.

It didn’t stop there, however, as Bishop Julian came to preside at a service the following day.  During this service he presented the abseiling certificates and the Scout Activity Trail winner was announced. 

Then, following the service we held a church picnic where everyone was invited to bring their own food and share fellowship together.