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East Ilsley churchwarden takes on tandem charity skydive over Salisbury with The Red Devils



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A septuagenarian has really thrown himself into fundraising.

John Hibbert took on a tandem skydive with the world famous Red Devils – the official display team of the British Army’s Parachute Regiment – to help raise vital money for restoration work at a West Berkshire village church.

The 76-year-old has so far raised more than £6,000, which will be match funded by Greenham Trust, to help fund the extensive work that needs to take place at St Mary’s Church in East Ilsley.

John Hibbert soars over Salisbury in his charity tandem skydive with The Red Devils
John Hibbert soars over Salisbury in his charity tandem skydive with The Red Devils

Mr Hibbert, who is a churchwarden at St Mary’s, said the whole experience had been “brilliant”. He took on the jump on Good Friday, in "brilliant sunshine" at Old Sarum, near Salisbury.

“I decided that I wanted to skydive with The Red Devils after seeing their demonstration at Highclere Castle and, since signing up, I’ve been waiting for over two years due to Covid lockdowns,” he added.

“I must say that the whole Red Devils experience was brilliant. It was a great day.

“I very much enjoyed it and I would do it again if it wasn’t so expensive.”

Mr Hibbert was joined on the self-funded jump by two of his three children, Steven and Emma, and they were all watched from the ground by his wife Jane.

The money will be used for major church restoration work and the creation of a dual worshipping/community centre in the church, as the village doesn’t have a village hall.

You can still add to Mr Hibbert's total by visiting https://bit.ly/3kim8Fs

Mr Hibbert, who was born and raised in the village where he still lives, said the church had “played a big part in my life”.

His parents were village bellringers and he followed in their footsteps, becoming Tower Captain in 1969.

He also taught his wife and three children to ring and has been a churchwarden at St Mary’s for several years.



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