Malmesbury Abbey ready to welcome half-term skaters again

This Is Wiltshire: Ethan, 11, and Rebecca Doyley, 12, prepare for the Abbey Skate Ethan, 11, and Rebecca Doyley, 12, prepare for the Abbey Skate

Hundreds of skaters from across Britain will roll into Malmesbury next week for the fifth annual Abbey Skate.

Volunteers from the Abbey’s congregation have again teamed up with Christian Skaters UK to run an indoor skatepark with quarter pipes, ramps and grinding platforms.

Abbey youth minister Sarah McGrory said: “The vicar, the Rev Neill Archer, had the idea to do it at the same time I was getting involved with Christian Skaters.

“We decided we needed to do something for the skaters as they’ve wanted a skate-park for about 17 years and we’ve got the space to do it.

“Mostly the focus is on skating, but last year we set up a café and it was so successful it’s stayed open – hospitality was really important.

“This year we have no workshops but there will be live music. It’s mostly people from Malmesbury School and the surrounding area. We have a Year 10 folk ensemble and three singer-songwriters performing at lunchtimes and in the evenings.”

In previous years, the event has attracted skaters from all over the UK.

Mrs McGrory said: “A family comes from Kent. They have a young lad called Isaac Maxwell who has been signed with various skating companies.

“Last year we had a boy who was doing break dancing. His dad was in America and he could watch him from our online stream.”

Mr Archer said: “The skatepark is evolving every year and involving more and more young people in providing what is a great event for our community, working in partnership with Christian Skaters UK.

“At the heart of the event is the message to the young people of Malmesbury that the abbey is as much a building for them as it is for everyone, and that God and the church community loves them.”

The event runs from February 13-15. Skating sessions can be booked through the café, or by visiting www.malmesburyabbey.

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