25 October 2006

"Locked-in vicar rings for help"

My wife saw this on the Daily Telegraph web site - you can see why she would have spotted it.

There but for the grace of God go we! (Note especially the role of the son ... ours doesn't play the drums, but our vicarage is a bit further away from the church).

(Telegraph link here)

Locked-in vicar rings for help
By Nigel Bunyan
Last Updated: 1:52am BST 20/10/2006

A vicar who inadvertently locked himself and his wife into his church used the bell to send out a "morse code" distress call to his parishioners. The Rev Steve Rathbone, 45, spent 20 minutes pulling on the rope before neighbours in Rainbow, near Macclesfield, Cheshire, realised something was amiss.

Mr Rathbone and his wife, Jo, might have been freed earlier had their son, Jake, 16, who was in the vicarage next door, not been playing on his drum kit.

They became trapped after a coffee morning when a helper left the building and locked it, unaware anyone was inside.

Mr Rathbone, who has been the parish vicar of Rainbow for three years, said: "People said they didn't know for sure that it was an SOS, but they could tell it was an unusual rhythm for a church bell.

"They came to investigate, realised we were trapped and let us out – for which we were truly thankful".



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