To raise money for the seven churches in the Saxilby and Stow group of parishes (near Gainsborough) Paul Cragg is donning his walking boots and walking the mighty 34 miles (55 kilometres) between each place of worship – in one day. A route that is expected to take him around ten hours.

Paul is a member of the PCC at St Helen’s in Willingham by Stow and fortunately he and his family are keen walkers, often taking walking holidays to Northumberland or the Lake District. A daily walk with Thistle the dog is around 2-3 miles and a more typical walk is 10-12 miles.

Paul said: “Like many churches in the diocese our parish has had to cancel so many events and fundraising opportunities due to the pandemic and this has really dented our finances.  But I am a firm believer that charity begins at home so I am doing this walk to raise money for the benefit of all our churches.

“I have done the route around the churches once previously on a gloomy day in February when the weather was quite unpleasant so I am hoping it will be easier on a nice day in June! I took it quite steady and didn’t feel too bad afterwards and it’s all over rolling countryside or on quiet roads so not too difficult. Because of social distancing I am expecting to walk most of it on my own although my wife Ann and Thistle will meet me at certain points along the way for moral support, encouragement and to share a cup of tea.

“Our vicar, the Revd Nicola Penn-Allison has been rallying the troops to come and wave to me and I have given everyone a rough estimate as to what time I will be passing through so it will be lovely to see some familiar faces in person after all this time.”

Here are details of Paul’s route and approximate timings

St Helen’s – Willingham by Stow (leave 07.00am)
St Mary’s – Stow (7.25am)
St Edith’s – Coates (8.00am)
St Hugh’s – Sturton (8.50am)
St Botolph’s – Saxilby (10.50am)
St Peter’s - Newton on Trent (13.00)
St Peter & St Paul’s – Kettlethorpe (13.40)
St Peter’s – Torksey (14.25)
St Helen’s – Willingham by Stow (arrive 17.00)

If you would like to sponsor Paul, please send him an email with details of your pledge. 

This story was published on Tuesday 16th June 2020.