1. ITV Report

Bath's Amy Williams joins mass abseil down Abbey

Winter Olympian Amy Williams looking relaxed ahead of her dizzying abseil. Credit: Genesis Trust

Olympic Gold medallist Amy Williams has abseiled off Bath Abbey tower to raise money for homeless people in the city and to fund extensive renovations to the historic church building.

Before she took on the drop she said, “It’s not every day that you get to abseil down your local Abbey, so I can’t wait to try this challenge whilst raising money for such good causes.”

And she arrived at the bottom unscathed.

Amy taking the abseil in her stride. Credit: Genesis Trust
The height of Bath Abbey tower - that's 160 ft

Up to 100 people have taken part in this "Leap of Faith" as the organisers have named it. No one had ever abseiled down Bath Abbey's tower before the challenge was suggested.

  • Watch: "Leap of Faith"

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Bath Abbey is the last great medieval cathedral to have been built in England and from its highest point offers stunning vistas across the city of Bath and beyond - as those taking part discovered. They faced a daunting climb up 212 steps to the top of the 49m high tower - that's 160 ft - before taking on the challenge they signed up for.

Point of safety - everyone was harnessed to a rope before they abseiled three-quarters of the way to the bottom.

Acting Rector Stephen Girling puts on a brave face ahead of the challenge. Credit: Genesis Trust/Bath Abbey

One of the first to take the plunge was Bath Abbey's Acting Rector Stephen Girling, who highly recommends the experience:

"The Bath Abbey is such an iconic building right in the heart of Bath; abseiling down the side of it is guaranteed to be a truly memorable experience. What makes it all the more special is that there’s a greater purpose – raising valuable funds".

Fundraising target

The event aims to raise at least £20,000 for local charity the Genesis Trust and Bath Abbey's building plans.

Genesis Trust brings the local community together to offer immediate practical help to people who are hungry, homeless and vulnerable and provide long-term opportunities for them to rebuild their lives.

Bath Abbey’s Footprint Project will repair the historic building's collapsing floor and install an eco-friendly heating system, powered by Bath’s natural hot springs. It will also ensure that the Abbey is more hospitable for its visitors – improving the facilities and expanding its capacity by 200 square meters.