Recently-retired vicar John Hetherington has equalled an ascent of Everest by climbing a total of 37,000 feet on various hills, fells, mountains and moors.
The challenge John set himself was to help celebrate the 600th anniversary of Easingwold Parish Church, by ascending 1,000 feet to commemorate each of the 37 vicars who have served our church since 1418.
“It seemed such a mammoth task as I sat at my desk in early June looking at the map of the climbs I had to complete on the North York Moors, and also the ‘Three Yorkshire Peaks’ and the ‘Three National Peaks’. And after the first few days climbing up hills and moors in North Yorkshire and achieving some 3,700 feet, it actually seemed an even bigger challenge!
"There is a great sense of peace that comes when walking alone in places of significant isolation. During the many climbs and walk I have done over the past three months there has been time to appreciate the wonder of creation, and also to pray as I walked, thanking God the creator of it all for all his marvellous works.
"During the climbs I have placed some 37 small wooden crosses in the ground at various places, and these are to both commemorate and give thanks for the amazing people who have served as the Incumbent/Priest of this Parish of Easingwold. At least we have now ensured that all have been remembered, and we have given thanks for all their work and ministry.
"Thank you to all those who have supported me through sponsorship and all the monies raised will go towards the work of St John and All Saints’ Church in Easingwold. The final amount is not yet clear, but if all the sponsorship money comes in, and with the help of Gift Aid, it is hoped that I can reach the £2,000 mark.”
Michael Wansborough, publicity officer at Easingwold Parish Church, said, "Congratulations to John on this epic achievement! Now it is definitely time for him to 'AVE A REST!'”
[groan... - Ed]