I SEEM to have spent quite a lot of my time over the last two weeks in the churches of Chard, however, it has been Easter.
On Friday, April 11, we were invited to watch BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions being recorded at St Mary’s Church. Tickets were free and the audience was very well behaved as we watched the programme take place. Afterwards we had tea and cake with the panel members and local volunteers, which was entertaining and interesting but not very good for the waistline.
On April 12 I had the pleasure of walking Chard’s streets with the Street Pastors. This group of volunteers patrols the town centre and a few other areas talking to people and administering help if needed on a Saturday night between 10pm and 2am. I was amazed at the reception they got from young people in the town, always respectful and grateful for their help.
Easter weekend was particularly busy for us. On Good Friday, Andy and I greeted Chard Churches Together at the Guildhall and then joined them on the Walk of Witness through Chard for a service at St Mary’s Church.
The service was followed by hot cross buns and tea – this was something I have not been involved with before and it was quite humbling walking through the town behind the cross.
Later that evening Kelly Leigh’s School of Dance put on a show in aid of my three charities. All the girls gave their time for nothing and, as usual, they were amazing. The music was pumping and Kelly and her crew were so full of energy.
If you are interested in joining them they have dance classes for all ages from tiny tots to adults. Kelly’s studio can be found in the town centre near the Co-op.
On Saturday, April 18, Andy and I attended the Methodist Church Rooms for breakfast cooked by the gentlemen of the church in aid of Mercy Ships.
The breakfast was free – you just donated money to the charity. Given that the abseil was later that day it felt like the condemned man’s last meal.
One of the ladies told us about the Friends of Chard Library having an open day at the library, so we popped in to see them on our way home.
More cake! The girls told us about a couple of events the library is promoting – knit and natter and a Lego club for children. More details of both can be found in the library.
That afternoon was the scheduled Mayor and Vicar abseil down St Mary’s Church roof and at 2pm we climbed the bell tower to peer from the top at the whole of Chard. The event was organised by Cave Climb, who were fantastic – I can’t praise them enough for their time, dedication and reassurance.
Luckily, there was a small ledge at the top of the tower that you could step over and rest your feet on before descending on the rope. I think the most difficult thing was to lift that second leg through the turret and perch on the ledge before trusting the rope and instructors to get you down.
We both did it, although Rev Sue was much quicker than me we are both here to tell the tale.
Dozens of other Chard people came down the tower, though, most of them with a lot less fuss than me. They aged from seven to over 80 and each one of them deserves a massive well done.
Not sure I would do it again but hopefully the lead will last for a few years now.