Flying teddies raise more than 1K for church.

Reporter: Ken Bennett
Date published: 13 September 2021

It certainly was not a teddy bears picnic ...well, not for the bears themselves.

But the teddies, all shapes, sizes and colours, queued with their owners who would watch their family treasures zipwire down Saddleworth Parish Church tower in Uppermill to raise funds to build a new accessibility ramp into the church.

Sporting legend Kevin Sinfield officially opened the appeal  supported by The Bishop of Middleton, Mark Davies.

The event was organised by Rev Cañón Sharon Jones and St Chads primary school under the watchful supervision of zipwire experts, Oldham Mountain Rescue Team.

Speaking after the event, Canon Sharon said: ”We raised over a thousand pounds towards the ramp for disabled access.”

And she admitted: “ It was my idea. Started out as a proposed abseil for the head of St Chads School, the Bishop and myself. However, health and safety knocked that one on the head so we went for zip wire for bears instead. 

“Huge thanks to Oldham Mountain Rescue who facilitated it and entered into the spirit of the occasion and to Grandpa Greene’s for the donation of ice cream. 

“Hundreds came with teddies, unicorns, rabbits, tigers an octopus, eagle, gremlins, monkeys, wolves —and an eagle. The sun shone and the children from St Chads had a great time.”

And Canon Sharon’s own personal bear, Big Teddy, was first to sail down the zip wire and earn a “teddy superstar” certificate which was awarded to every owner and a teddy who  completed the flight.


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