A CANON, a vicar and a verger have joined a group of 40 fundraisers in abseiling off a cathedral.

It was a heart in the mouth moment for the Reverend Stephen Burgess, an ecumenical canon of Ripon Cathedral, when he stepped off the roof of the 12th century landmark in his cassock, in the first ever sponsored abseil from the building.

After abseiling down the parapet of the cathedral’s South-West tower for Christian Aid, he said he had always had a passion for the charity's values.

He said: "“Once the challenge had been issued, I couldn’t think of any reason to say no.

“I used to rock climb as a student, but then a knee injury put an end to it. But I have never abseiled down the side of a building like this.”

Others taking part included the cathedral’s head verger, Colin Belsey and the Vicar of Catterick and Tunstall, the Reverend Lindsay Southern.

Mr Belsey said: “As a verger, I regularly have to go up the Bell Tower to put the flag up or ring the bells, but I have never thought of jumping off before.”

The amount raised from the event has yet to be calculated.