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Awliscombe grandmother’s skydive challenge

08:54 18 August 2014

Doreen Chippington outside St Michael and All Angels Church, Awliscombe.

Doreen Chippington outside St Michael and All Angels Church, Awliscombe.


An Awliscombe grandmother with a head for heights will be plunging 15,000 feet to boost funds for a new church roof – and celebrate her 80th birthday.

Doreen Chippington will be taking part in a tandem skydive on Saturday, August 30, at Dunkeswell Airfield.

The 79-year-old, who celebrates her 80th birthday on October 5, is hoping to raise £1,000 for much-needed repairs at St Michael and All Angels Church, Awliscombe. She has already raised more than £300.

“I am looking forward to it. It was really exciting last time,” says Doreen.

She will be joined by her son Michael and grandsons Haddon and Toby.

“The important thing is this building. It is an ancient building and it belongs to the whole community. We need to keep it fit for purpose,” she added.

In the region of £70,000 is needed to repair the church roof after thieves stole lead from the building back in 2012. The church building has been in the village for over 800 years.

The community has been holding various events over the last couple of years to raise money to cover the repair costs.

Doreen is no stranger to skydiving. She did one 10 years ago to celebrate her 70th birthday and says she loved the experience and is grateful that she is able to do it once again. She said: “I do feel I am very lucky to be so fit.”

However, this jump will be much higher than her last - the first was only 10,000 feet.

She will be cheered on by her family on the day.

The church is about half-way to reaching its target and hopes to start the roof repairs soon.

With the community’s help, it is still working towards raising the money needed for the repairs, which would also include decorating work inside.

To sponsor Doreen, visit


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