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Snowboarding vicar blesses snow slope
A snowboarding vicar has blessed the piste of the UK's longest indoor real snow slope to mark the official end of the European ski season.
Snowboarder, Rev Steven Young snowboarded down the slopes on Wednesday at Manchester's Chill Factore blessing the snow as he went with holy water from a special silver bucket.
He performed some snowboarding tricks on the rails and jumped several feet into the air showing his snowboarding skills off to the max.
During Steven's descent, Greater Manchester's Rock Choir performed Beyonce's 'Halo' as the vicar made his way down the slope and gave thanks for the fun the snow centre provides to young and old all year round.
He also praised the end of another European winter season as skiers and snowboarders passed by him on the slope, before wishing everyone who uses the slope over the summer a safe and enjoyable time.
The vicar has already visited Chill Factore this year, having fulfilled a charity challenge to complete a run down the slopes of each of the UK's six indoor snow centres in a single day, raising £1,403 for North London Hospice.
After the ceremony, Steven said: "It was great to perform the blessing as I snowboarded down the slope and to see so many people get involved in the ceremony afterwards.
"I'm passionate about promoting an inclusive, diverse and vibrant society - a setting where all are welcome - and Chill Factore offers a place to do just this.
"This ceremony is a great way for the community to connect, and as a snow sports enthusiast myself, I'm honoured to be able to bless the snow following a great European season."
Morwenna Angove, CEO at Chill Factore said: "Snow blessings are traditional in some countries and resorts, so we thought we'd bring it here to Manchester's home of snow.
"We hope the ceremony was loved by all involved, and even though the European season may have finished, we're glad we can welcome guests all year round to enjoy the snow."
Steven told Premier before the special event: "Perhaps as Christians we've got to get better at doing stuff that's outside our comfort zone.
"One sort of reflection for me is how God's alive and present in every aspect of my life.
"Being able to celebrate that by being asked by a secular business to come as a guest into this facility and to celebrate my faith in this kind of environment is a wonderful blessing to have.
"It's happened by being able to enjoy the things that are not traditional vicar pursuits but God's blessed me in and through them in a way that I would never have imagined."
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