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Banff minister takes on walking challenge fundraiser wearing full robes

By Kyle Ritchie

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Banff residents may see the sight of the town's Church of Scotland minister walking around the community in full robes as part of a fundraising challenge.

Reverend David Locke has pledged to walk a fully robed mile a day for 26 days to raise funds for the church to continue its work and help recoup some of the funds lost due to the coronavirus outbreak.

He will have support from 21-month-old Isaac, who will join him on some of his walks.

Reverend David Locke is taking on the walking challenge.
Reverend David Locke is taking on the walking challenge.

Church and community members are also undertaking their own marathons such as a daily 26-minute workout; hand-stitching masks; dancing a Scottish country dance; climbing stairs 26 times in 26 minutes; and many walking a mile a day.

Children are also joining in with a marathon alphabet treasure hunt.

Rev Locke said: "I have not worn robes for some time out and about, so seeing me in them around the community seems to be sparking interest and hopefully shows the church is still active.

"It's a fundraiser to help recoup some of the significant deficit we have this year in church funds due to the lockdown – affecting congregational giving grants and other income, while expenditure on our services to folk of all ages in the church and community have continued.

"My wife and toddler son join me for some of the walks and my son is also being well sponsored. I decided I would some of the time carry the cross we normally use at Easter as a symbol of the church's purpose and mission to help people.

"It has not been an easy time for churches, but like many, we have worked really hard to carry on with spiritual support and care for congregation and community.

"It is also hopefully a way of showing our church remains active around our community. The interest has been really great and hopefully donations or sponsorships will match that.

"It's great that many in our congregation are doing whatever counts for them as a marathon, and putting in a lot of effort according to their abilities; and spreading it over 26 days is rather a good guide to how to approach this marathon pandemic situation – one day at a time."

The charity challenge, which will last until Monday, August 10, can be followed on the Banff and King Edward Parish Church Facebook page or at banffparishchurchofscotland.co.uk where donations can also be made.

Rev Locke said that the church is not yet open for normal services as the protocols required are very strict.

He added: "We will not open until we are sure we can ensure everyone’s health and safety. Meanwhile our services continue online and by radio."

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