County Cork rector ‘shears’ a parishioner’s lockdown locks and beard in aid of church conservation work
Outside, in the delightful summer sun at Timoleague, County Cork, Geoffrey Hanbidge had his lockdown beard and hair cut off by his rector, the Rev Kingsley Sutton, on Bank Holiday Monday, 7th June.
Witnessed by a small crowd of amused, socially–distanced, onlookers, the unique deed took place on the public pavement in front of the Church of the Ascension. This was a fundraiser for the urgent conservation work on the church.
The event captured the imagination of both local and national press, for example – ‘Rector to shear one of his own flock to aid church renovations’ – was the headline in The Farmers Journal.
Geoffrey’s two young children were watching with bewildered delight as they got ready to feel and kiss their daddy’s fresh white face again. Even Geoffrey’s wife Susan seemed more than delighted to see her husband’s youthful complexion return!
Those gathered there seemed surprised to see the great job Kingsley was doing. The new mayor of Clonakilty, Anthony McDermot, commented that Geoffrey was ‘getting a great new sharp look’.
Maybe it was all down to the many years Kingsley actually used to shear his own sheep on the Wicklow hills before he was ordained. No skill should ever be wasted in life!
The estimated cost of the restoration work on the iconic church is €400,000 – a very big ask for a small rural parish. If you would like to help, there is a fund–raising page here.