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Bishop Gavin roped into abbey fundraiser

The Bishop of Dorchester will be among a team of brave fundraisers, which also includes the Rector the Revd Jane Willis, abseiling down Dorchester Abbey on 4 May.

After officially opening the 10-day cultural festival, now in its tenth year, Bishop Gavin Collins will take on his fear of heights and tackle the challenge of a 100-foot descent down the tower. Fundraisers will be supporting two charities, the Dorchester Abbey, and Restore, an Oxfordshire-based mental health charity, which supports people to take control of their recovery, develop skills, and lead meaningful lives.

Bishop Gavin said: “The competitive side of me means I am up for a challenge and won’t back out. I’m thrilled to have exceeded my rather arbitrary target of £1,000 to reach £1,300 raised for two great causes.

“I’m genuinely not good on heights but I am a great believer in mind over matter and stretching yourself to take on challenges. I will be in my episcopal garb – collar and purple shirt – although I think cope and mitre might interfere with the safety equipment! The abbey is a really special place for me, as Bishop of Dorchester. The abbey’s history means we need to support it into the future, as the abbey has been used as a place of worship for more than 1,000 years.”

The festival aims to raise £50,000 for its two beneficiaries this year, and welcomes 64 events powered by more than 2,000 pieces of cake! Top names visiting the festival this year include:

  • The Tallis Scholars, globally famous classical singing group
  • Composer John Rutter doing a come and sing
  • The Olivier award-winning, improvised musical Showstopper!
  • Cbeebies star Nick Cope
  • Folk hero Sam Kelly 
  • Opera in the Manor House Garden by Bampton Opera
  • Four chefs including two Michelin guide chefs doing cookery demonstrations in private kitchens
  • Francis Spufford, author of award-winning novel Golden Hill.

As well as abseiling down the abbey tower, the Revd Jane Willis will be walking on custard as part of the science afternoon. Priest Poets the Revd Sorrel Shamel-Wood and Laura Darrall will be reading and discussing their poetry and Tim Steward and Mary Chamberlain will lead Breathe, a reflective art workshop day.

Add to this art exhibitions, dawn chorus birdsong walks, children’s workshops, a duck race, a dog show and a two-day food and gift fair and there’s something for everyone.

Find out more about the Dorchester Festival and buy tickets. Add to Bishop Gavin's fundraising efforts online. 

Notes to Editor
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Page last updated: Thursday 25th April 2024 1:59 PM
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