Church climbing wall takes congregation to new heights

New bell tower facility opens with a little help from the Co-op

THE congregation at a Barnstaple church has been reaching new spiritual – and physical heights – thanks to the installation of a new climbing wall.

A donation of �1,000 from The Co-operative’s Community Fund has helped the Holy Trinity Church install and open the new 7.5metre facility inside its newly-restored 19th century bell tower.

The Community Fund is created by members of The Co-operative Group who elect to donate all, or part, of their twice-yearly dividend payments directly to the scheme. The funds are then shared with local community projects and groups, such as Holy Trinity Church, across the country.

The Reverend Andy Dodwell, from Holy Trinity Church, said: “This generous grant from The Co-operative has helped us to complete our climbing wall project, which is already proving hugely valuable to the community with regular climbing sessions being held.

“Our bell tower had been restored but the inside space was redundant, therefore we decided this was a great use of space that would bring many different people in the community together.”

Jeremy Bell, from The Co-operative’s local area committee, said: “Because our members own the business, they get a share in any of the profits we make. It’s a scheme we’re very proud of, not only because it gives us the chance to thank members for shopping with us, but because so many people choose to give something back to local communities.”

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Co-operative members receive a payment twice a year based on the points they earn when they trade at any of the Group’s businesses, including The Co-operative Food, Travel, Pharmacy and Funeralcare, as well as The Co-operative Bank, Smile and The Co-operative Insurance.

“There is around �200,000 available in this region, each year, from the community fund, and we welcome applications from local groups and projects for �100 to �2,000,” said Jeremy.

Community Fund application forms are available online at or by phoning 0844 262 4001. Awards are allocated by local Co-operative members’ committees, based on a set of values and principles such as social responsibility and caring for others.

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