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Banff minister and church complete fundraising challenge


By Kyle Ritchie

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Banff Parish Church members have raised £4000 as part of a marathon fundraiser.

The challenge saw minister Rev David Locke don his robes and walk a mile in the town for 26 days.

Other activities carried out by the congregation have included daily 26-minute workouts, hand-stitching masks and walking 26 streets a day.

Banff minster Rev David Locke (centre) was supported on the penultimate walk of his challenge by Macduff Parish Church minister Rev Hugh O'Brien (left) and Banff River Church pastor Rob McArthur. Picture: Andy Taylor
Banff minster Rev David Locke (centre) was supported on the penultimate walk of his challenge by Macduff Parish Church minister Rev Hugh O'Brien (left) and Banff River Church pastor Rob McArthur. Picture: Andy Taylor

Rev Locke said: "It generated a good deal of interest and support around town.

"It was good to get out and about, sometimes with my family, and chatting to folk. The robes helped break the ice and folk came up and provided encouragement, joked or donated money.

"It seems to have provided a bit of an uplift to the church but also we hope the community.

"Everyone who took part mostly spread their activities over 26 days. It was intended to demonstrate a good approach to dealing with the pandemic marathon situation – one day at a time.

"Many in the congregation undertook whatever counted for them as a marathon, according to their abilities including a daily 26-minute workout, hand-stitching a mask a day, a Scottish country dance each day, climbing stairs 26 times in 26 minutes a day, walking 26 streets each day, and most walking a mile a day.

"A family in Blairgowrie cycled the marathon. Grandparents participated with grandchildren, and a couple with 160 years between them also completed the challenge. Some children joined in walking or doing the Marathon Alphabet Treasure Hunt."

Rev Locke was sponsored to wear his robes around the town for a mile each day, tackling rain and heat, and sometimes carrying the cross. His toddler son Isaac also managed his 26 miles and managed to raise more sponsor money than his dad.

A compilation video of some of the participants and the scenes of the Banff area they covered has been producedand can be viewed at the Banff and King Edward Parish Churches Facebook page here or at Banffparishchurchofscotland.co.uk

Leaders of the churches in Banff and Macduff have been working closely together over the period of the coronavirus pandemic, and the minister of Macduff Parish Church, Rev Hugh O’Brien, and the Pastor of Banff River Church, Rob McArthur, supported Rev Locke on the penultimate day of his challenge and helped carry the cross.

Overall the church raised £4000 for its funds through sponsorships, online and cash donations.

Rev Locke added: "This is wonderful but its just a first step in the long journey to replace the funds we have lost due to the church buildings being closed, services not taking place and being unable to conduct our fundraising activities in the usual way.

"We hope to open our church in the second half of September, but numbers attending and the content of the services will be limited by Government regulations.

"Our halls, which normally carry out activities including fundraising events, are likely to be closed a good bit longer. Online activities and services will continue."

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