Peak District pilgrimage raises cash for centre

Trek: The Bishop of Hallam and charity walkers raising funds for St Wilfrid's.             PICTURE: BARRY RICHARDSON.
Trek: The Bishop of Hallam and charity walkers raising funds for St Wilfrid's. PICTURE: BARRY RICHARDSON.
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A BISHOP and his band of merry walkers completed a 15-mile trek through Derbyshire to raise charity cash.

The group of 21 fundraisers – led by Bishop of Hallam John Rawsthorne – put their best feet forward for Sheffield’s St Wilfrid’s Centre.

With the September sun shining down the walkers set out from Calver before making their way to Queen Mary’s Bower at Chatsworth estate, where they were spurred along by the Duke of Devonshire.

Headteachers from city schools, St Wilfrid’s centre users and staff all took part.

The charity’s patron Simrin Choudhrie, who has supported the centre since visiting for Channel 4’s The Secret Millionaire, sadly had to pull out at the last minute.

It is hoped the annual Bishop’s Walk will raise more than £10,000 to help the homeless, vulnerable and socially excluded in Sheffield.

Kevin Bradley, St Wilfrid’s Centre director, said: “It was a fantastic day for it. The duke was a lovely gentleman and promised to support St Wilfrid’s. I planned the route and I kept it a secret, so I was the only one who knew where we were going.

“The only downside for me is that every year I have to buy everyone a pint at the end. Simrin had to fly to Delhi to see a relative at the 11th hour, but she has been collecting a lot of money on our behalf.”

Bishop John, aged 75, said: “The message we really want to get across to everyone who sponsored us is that we finished it – so they’ll have to pay up.”

It could be the Bishop’s last hurrah as he is due to retire once a replacement is found. He is moving to Liverpool to carry out pastoral work.

n Donate online at www.virginmoneygiving.com/charities/stwilfrid’scentre or send donations to St Wilfrid’s Centre, 524 Queens Road, Sheffield, S2 4DT.