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Chorlton priest braves torrential rain for Yorkshire’s Three Peaks Challenge to raise church funds

By James Riches

A Chorlton priest braved three Yorkshire peaks and a day of driving rain on Saturday to raise over £1,000 to improve his church hall.

Revd Ken Flood, Rector of St Clement’s Church, got up at 5:15am to brave the downpour along with friend Tom Hague and completed the Yorkshire Dales Three Peaks Challenge in 10 hours and 46 minutes.

The feat involved scaling 694m Penyghent, followed by 736m Whernside and finally 723m Ingleborough over the course of a 26-mile hike.

“I used to do a lot of walking about ten years ago,” said Revd Flood, “I was hoping some of that would still be there deep down. We thought we could get it in under 11 hours.”

Parishioners gave donations as high as £50 towards the project, with proceeds going towards new toilets, a rainwater harvesting system and rewiring the electric system.

His congregation were suitably impressed that Revd Flood managed such a commendable time despite the weather conditions, and the fact that he did not have time to do any training.

Ida Bradshaw, who has attended St Clement’s all her life, said: “I opened the bedroom curtains on Saturday and thought ‘poor Ken’. I thought he’d have had the morning off today!”

And Betty Simpson, a St Clement’s regular since 1973, said: “We’re all very proud of him.”

The money is much needed at St Clement’s, who are still recovering from the financial implications of two arson attacks on their sister church St Barnabas’s in March.

They were finally able to reopen on Sunday, but the cost of that has left a gap where Revd Flood had been hoping to carry out the church hall work.

However, thanks to Revd Flood’s efforts, as well as money raised from a beer festival earlier this month, there is now enough money to begin work on the toilets.

Revd Flood will now turn his attention to Phase Two of the Community Halls Appeal, aiming to install a new organ that has been in storage for a year.

In the short term, however, it is likely that a good rest will be his top priority.

“I’m still very stiff so I’ve got to walk around,” he said, “The next service is a baptism, so I don’t want to drop the baby.”

 

 

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