Parachuting teddy bears at Norwich community event

A teddy bear in the guise of the Sheriff of Norwich could be seen parachuting off a church tower at the weekend as a community came together to celebrate.

The annual St Giles Church fete was held today (Saturday) to help raise funds for the church.

Held on the first Saturday every year, the event forms part of the patronal festival celebrating Saint Giles.

It was opened by the city's sheriff Chris Higgins and saw a range of events and activities including a 'teddy bear drop'.

The teddies were given parachutes and were dropped from the tower, the tallest parish church tower in Norwich, rising over 120 feet (36 metres).

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People also had the chance to win knitted dolls portraying the Royal family, made by Elsie Johnson, in one of the raffles on the day.

Parish priest Darren Thornton said: 'The church is at the heart of this community and seeks to build up a good relationship with the community.

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'The fete brings all of that together. It's a very special part of the city up this end and the church has community activities most weekends.'

Other events on the day included tea and cake sales, bric-a-brac stalls and book sales. People were also given the chance to take a tour up the church bell-ringing tower.

Mr Higgins said: 'This is a great example of the community and the church working together. They talk about big society but big society is already here and this sort of thing shows how it can work well when you've got the church and community working hand in hand.'

The knitted Royal family dolls were first created ahead of Kate and William's wedding earlier this year. Ms Johnson, from Costessey, also knitted Wallace and Gromit dolls which were put up for raffle.

It is not yet known how much money was raised at Saturday's event.

Is a special event taking place in your community? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email

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