Barkingside vicar forced to call for help on stormy Christmas Eve

A vicar has spoken of his relief copper tiles, loosened by stormy weather, did not fall on the heads of his congregation on Christmas Eve.

Rev Benjamin Wallis, of St George, Barkingside, frantically called the emergency services at 6pm because he was so concerned the strong winds would cause an accident.

He said: “The storm was loosening the bits of copper, so I called for help.

“We had quite a few crew in the end but Midnight Mass went on as planned - the tension was palpable for the vicar.

“The police and the fire service were very helpful when I thought most people would have gone home for Christmas.”

The police closed off the entrance to the church and one side of Woodford Avenue to protect worshipers coming and going from the service.

Rev Wallis, a vicar at the church for ten years, said he rarely seen a storm like it.

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