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Church gets some uplifting news

An Austrian parish priest who has seen the numbers of the faithful slowly declining because many of them are now older and unable to make it up the 66 steps to reach the church has had his Christmas wish answered.

This year father Joachim Fridolin Angerer is finally going to be able to build a lift that will not only take the faithful to the church on the side of the mountain in Eibenstein but will also be big enough to take up coffins to the cemetery.

He said: "I have been walking these 66 steps for 50 years and it gets harder all the time – it's a total of about 36 metres which when you're young is nothing but when you get older and especially for some of my parishioners or for the disabled it is impossible."

But the donation by two people in the district who want to remain anonymous means that the mediaeval mountainside church will now get a modern high-tech lift.

The plans for the lift already been approved by the local council and the money has already been transferred to pay for the lift.

He said: "I am sure it will make the church much more accessible for many people and not just for mass but also for those who want to visit the graves of the departed. I hope it will be finished by Easter."

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