What an amazing day! 46 fantastically brave people, from 11 to 84 years young, abseiled from the St Stephen’s Church tower on Saturday 22 June. Thank you to all who took part, taking on this very challenging abseil. The route up was by vertical ladders inside the tower so the ascent was as tough as the descent. At 120 feet up it felt so much higher as the church is on the northern slopes of Bath.  Arguably one of the best views in town!

The lantern ‘tower on the hill’ of St Stephen’s Church, Lansdown is an iconic and much-loved landmark on the Bath skyline.  Built between 1840 and 1845, it has a square base, an octagonal tower and is topped by impressive freestanding corner pinnacles that are attached by traceried flying buttresses. Perfect for a Genesis Trust fundraising abseil! The way to the top of the tower involved climbing a series of ladders whilst roped up, past the bells and through narrow spaces.  Just getting to the top of the tower was a huge achievement let alone coming down again! Despite the understandable nerves, everyone reported loving the stunning vista looking over Bath and beyond. Another view they experienced was when coming face to face with the grinning gargoyles as they carefully abseiled down.

The first person to abseil was Revd Philip Hawthorn the Rector at St Stephen’s. He was followed by Revd Debbie Plow the Associate Priest. The last person down the tower was Revd Andrew Avramenko whose last weekend it was as Curate at the church. It was very fitting for all the clergy to top and tail the day. In between there were many brave people from the church family, from Genesis Trust staff and volunteers, and the local community too. Pupils from The Royal High School took up the challenge. It was lovely to see dads and mums with their sons and daughters taking part – facing their fears and encouraging each other.


Thanks to Dave Talbot Adventure Events and his team whose expertise and lovely manner made everyone feel safe, and indeed, be safe!

Dave said “Thank you for getting involved and being part of a great day. You guys were all superb and great fun to be around.”


The day was made extra special by the wonderful Summer Fair organised by the church in and around the building and gardens. Activities such as a teddy zip wire, splat the rat, scavenger hunt, face painting, a tombola and raffle meant that it was a family fun day. The refreshments were delicious including foot long hotdogs, Marshfield ice cream and bountiful cakes. The presence of local groups such as Bath Photographic Society, Mother’s Unions and many others made it a wonderful community activity with something for everyone to do when they weren’t either abseiling or watching others doing it.

All in all, a fantastic fundraising abseiling event and Summer Fair. The fundraising total is still going up, but we will confidently surpass £12,000 which will be shared between Genesis Trust and the St Stephen’s Church building fund.

To see some photos from the top they are on Facebook here – https://www.facebook.com/dave.talbot.adventure.events/ – and for those not on social media,  they are in a folder here – https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1g0cqHQybDbJBfG-OgzU67fFDpK575iKC?usp=sharing.