Retired minister steps out for charity
A RETIRED Methodist minister in upper Teesdale has realised a long-held ambition - and raised more than £2,000 for a children’s charity in the process.
Revd John Howard, of Middleton-in-Teesdale, walked the 268 miles of the Pennine Way – from Eadale, in the Peak District, to Kirk Yetholm, in the Scottish Borders – in a little under three weeks, raising cash for Action For Children with every step.
“I walked the Pennine Way in sections when I was in my late twenties but I have always wanted to walk it end to end,” said the 68-year-old.
“Because of the lockdown restrictions many charities have been struggling to raise funds and I wanted to do something to help.
“As I looked at what was and wasn’t possible during this autumn it seemed that this was something that I could do. It would raise money for Action for Children and fulfil an ambition at a time when many other activities were impossible,” he added.
His achievement is made all the more remarkable by the fact he completed the gruelling walk in wettest Octobers on record.
“It’s a little difficult to say what the toughest section was really,” said Mr Howard
“For me, it was perhaps the stretch from Hawes over Great Shunner Fell and on to Keld. But the next day, although the terrain was slightly easier, the really bad weather made the going just as tough.”
Now home with his wife, Mary, rested and restored, Mr Howard not certain what his next challenge will be.
“I’ve walked some sections of the Wales Coast Path and I’d like to do more of it – but perhaps not in an end-to-end challenge,” he added.