December 12 2013 Latest news:
Emma Hardwick, Reporter
Saturday, September 7, 2013
CRIPPLING costs of running a church have led to one man attempting a 26-mile walk to help.
Phil Sutterby will be marching from Chelmsford to Maldon, and back again, on Saturday September 14 to raise money for St Michael’s in Leaden Roding.
Mr Sutterby, who has taken part in three London Marathons and a number of other charity events in the past, said: “Many people do not realise how much it costs to run a church and we do not want to lose the churches that grace our countryside.
“If this is what I can do to help, even if I raise £500, it will still be something.”
In total the former postal worker will be walking 26 miles. As chairman of the Leaden Roding walking club, he has been getting plenty of practice.
The 60-year-old will be leaving the Chelmsford Record Office at 8am and hopes to arrive back there at about 5pm. His charity event will see him walk alongside the Chelmer and Blackwater Navigation to the Heybridge Basin.
“I know it is a cliché but let’s just pray for good weather and then people might want to join me,” the Dunmow Road resident said.
“If it does rain, I will be doing it in the rain... and probably on my own.”
All the money made will go towards restoring the bell tower at the Grade II* listed church, which has been damaged by large birds such as woodpeckers.
The church committee would also like to clear the tower of debris and make it safe to ring the bells properly.
Gay Essex, secretary of the committee, said: “We were so thrilled when Phil said he would do this walk for us. He does so much walking in the village, he takes people abroad and around London.
“It would be so nice if we could have the bells back to how they should be – but it is very expensive – which is why we need people to sponsor Phil.”
Anybody wishing to donate to the fund can call 01279 876274.