A Kendal based curate has climbed the equivalent height of Mount Everest by walking up and down his church bell tower, 500 times in one week.
Craig Bentley, of St Mark's in Natland has become well acquainted with the inside of his church tower over the last week and has raised nearly three thousand pounds for the International Nepal Fellowship (INF) and the church's community work.
Bentley, who spent 9 years as a police dog handler in the RAF before becoming a trainee vicar, came up with the idea himself. After two abandoned starts due to lockdowns, he began the challenge on 25th April.
"With your help I am hoping to raise money for the incredible outreach done through the church in supporting the local community, from their connections with the mothers union, the local schools, care home and the local food banks, to the support given to those most vulnerable through phone calls and home communions (when permitted).
"Covid 19 has led to so many people struggling but it felt wrong just to focus on our own community and so we decided that half the money raised should go to the INF. Their work is well known by many in our community as the previous Vicar's son worked in Nepal and had friends that worked for INF as did the current Vicar's in-laws. Please help me to raise money for St Mark's church and the INF, if you can," Bentley said on his crowdfundraising page.
In the church bell tower there are 80 steps going up 60 feet. Bentley's last 10 climbs were completed before he conducted the morning service on 2nd May.
He posted a video on Facebook before completing the last part of the challenge.