A VICAR reached for the heavens recently by climbing Yorkshire’s highest three peaks in a bid to raise much-needed money for local churches.
Reverend Geoff Hollingsworth, who is in charge of nine parish churches in Pocklington and the surrounding areas, set himself the challenge of scaling Ingleborough, Whernside and Pen-y-Ghent in the Yorkshire Dales which have a combined height of more than 7,000ft and a walking distance of over 24 miles.
Walking on his own, the confident clergyman completed the tough task in ten-and-a-half hours over two days, but had to contend with some bad weather along the way.
He said: “I set off walking up Pen-y-Ghent just after sunrise and enjoyed a breakfast on the summit, taking in the magnificent views- but the journey up Whernside was quite different as the wind and rain arrived resulting in bad weather and poor visibility.
“I still enjoyed my second breakfast on Whernside’s summit- tucked behind a wall eating soggy, squashed sandwiches!
“The descent was slippery as well as the stones were slippery!”
The next day he tackled Ingleborough and although it remained dry, thick mist made it a tricky ascent.
“It was certainly challenging because of the weather conditions, “ he added.
“It was exhilarating and very rewarding and you get a real sense of achievement.”
Costing more than £272 a day to run All Saints’ Church, Revd Hollingsworth set himself the challenge to pull in the pounds to help support the 14th century building. It is part of a drive to raise cash and awareness about churches needing to be self funded and receive no grants or payments.
Revd Hollingsworth said: “Every parish church has to stand on its own two feet and be financially independent, because there is no outside funding. The challenge is to raise public awareness about this. We appreciate the support we get and I would like to thank all those who have kindly sponsored the walk.”
Anyone still wishing to sponsor Revd Hollingsworth or wanting to drop off a sponsor form and money, can head to the church office at All Saints’. It is open on a morning from Tuesday to Friday. Alternatively, phone (01759) 306045.