A CHURCH narrowly avoided embarrassment after a strimmer-based calamity.

Greenery had grown ferociously at St Thomas à Becket at Cliffe church in Lewes over the coronavirus lockdown. But when a caretaker went to use the church’s ageing strimmer, he was greeted by a bright flash and a puff of blue smoke.

He was devastated and without a strimmer just hours before the Archdeacon of Brighton and Hove was due to visit.

Nearby garden centre Paradise Park in Newhaven came to the rescue, supplying a spare in the nick of time.

“We were in a bit of a pickle”, said churchwarden Trevor Butler. “The grass and bushes had not been cut during the whole of lockdown. We needed everything to look spick and span for our VIP visitor.” He praised the garden centre for “ kindly donating a new compact and lightweight Bosch strimmer” – which, he said, was “just perfect”.

The church welcomed the Archdeacon with its grass looking neat and tidy.