Behind the scenes at Derby Cathedral ahead of the annual recall challenge

Every year the Derbyshire-based charity Rainbows, which supports young people in the area with life-threatening and life-threatening illnesses, organizes a huge fundraising event and invites people to abseil down the side of one of Derby’s most famous buildings in a bid to raise as much money as possible.

This year’s event will take place on May 7 and will see hundreds of supporters of the charity rappel down one side of the building. This year, I will join them and abseil from the top of the historic Derby monument.

Ahead of the event, we went behind the scenes at Derby Cathedral to find out exactly what the event will entail and where it will take place. Derby Cathedral sits on the Iron Gate in the town center and was once called All Saints Church.

Read more stories about Derby city center

But in 1927 it was changed from parish church to cathedral status, creating a seat for the Bishop of Derby. Parts of the current building date back to the 1530s and have undergone several renovations over the years, most recently in 2016.

We climbed 189 steps to reach the top of Derby Cathedral, stopping momentarily halfway in the Carillon Room to learn more about how the cathedral bells work. A few minutes later, climbing the small tower, we reached the roof and were greeted by breathtaking views over the city of Derby.



Looking west over the town from the top of the steeple we can see South Derbyshire Magistrates Court, Bold Lane car park and Friar Gate.

Being able to see the meeting rooms, a clear view of Rue Saint-Pierre, the council house and the Derbion, all from the top of the cathedral made climbing the steps to the top worth it. I can’t imagine many other buildings in the city have such incredible views – and being able to see it all from such a historic building made it even more special.

Parts of the cathedral roof are currently taped off due to peregrine falcon nesting, but much of the room is available for people to walk and cross.

The abseiling event, organized by Rainbows, is an annual event and gives fundraisers the chance to receive sponsorship which can be donated to the charity. Many parents and families who have benefited from Rainbow’s services are expected.

Claire Hogan, Rainbows Events Fundraiser, said: “Our amazing supporters will be rappelling 212ft to the bottom of the tower in aid of the hospice. It’s always a really amazing event for Rainbows, we’re hoping to get around 80-100 people to take on the challenge.

“It’s an amazing opportunity and once in a lifetime opportunity to abseil the cathedral, obviously see some amazing views of Derby and it’s such a great fundraising cause for Rainbows.”



(LR) Rainbows' Sam Ratcliffe, Karen Nicholson, Michael Younger, Ali Furlong and Claire Hogan all climbed Derby Cathedral today ahead of the staged event, along with Derby Telegraph reporter Faith Pring.
(LR) Rainbows’ Sam Ratcliffe, Karen Nicholson, Michael Younger, Ali Furlong and Claire Hogan all climbed Derby Cathedral today ahead of the staged event, along with Derby Telegraph reporter Faith Pring.

Climbing to the top of the cathedral is by far the easiest part, despite the 189 steps to climb. But the thought of climbing up the side of the balustrade at the top of Derby Cathedral is by far the scariest part.

Rainbows have supported countless families across Derbyshire, including twins Sam and Alex who have been diagnosed with lifelong muscle disease and will be in wheelchairs for the rest of their lives.

Anyone interested in participating or donating to the fundraiser can visit the Rainbows website here.

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