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Cumbrian congregation cheers on Great British Bake Off contestant

by Premier Journalist

Members of a Cumbrian congregation are cheering on their deputy churchwarden as she competes in this year’s Great British Bake Off.

Abbi Lawson, aged 27, is a member of St James’ Tebay and was one of 12 contestants to feature in the first episode of the hit programme’s new series, broadcast last night.

Viewers saw Abbi take on the challenge of Cake Week, with the aim to bake a perfect vertically layered cake. She drew on her foraging skills using wild blackcurrants and poppy seeds for the cake and foraged gorse petals for its decoration.

Abbi explained why she put herself forward for the programme, adding: “I had success at my village show and that made me think ‘Give it a shot. What’s the worst that can happen?’”

The Rev Canon Brendan Giblin, vicar of St James’, praised her cake making skills and says she is being encouraged by everyone at her church.

He added: “We were all thrilled to hear that Abbi had been successful in applying for the programme. She’s a star baker in her own right and has done so well to make it through to the show as thousands of people apply each year.

“We’ll be praying for Abbi over the coming weeks as she faces all the various challenges in the Bake Off tent!”

As part of a technical challenge on the show, Abbi and the other contestants were asked to bake a chocolate fudge cake topped with fresh raspberries.

Abbi drew on her Cumbrian roots for the third challenge, designing a Herbert the Herdwick sheep ginger sponge cake featuring a hazelnut praline crunch.

Brendan added: “It was lovely to see Abbi celebrate her Cumbrian heritage with the Herdwick sheep cake design. In fact, it looked too good to eat!”

The first episode of series 14 aired on Channel 4 at 8pm on Tuesday.


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