A WORCESTER vicar is lacing up his walking boots in preparation for an epic walk of almost 200 miles.
Rambling Reverend Chris Stuart, vicar of St John-in-Bedwardine Church, St Clement's Church, and St David's Church in Worcester, will trek 192 miles in two weeks from April 6.
"When I first planned the Coast to Coast walk from from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire, it was after I had had my 40th birthday and decided to work on a bucket list," he said.
"Back then I was more excited about it — now I'm terrified. But it will be a fantastic adventure and it will raise money for two great causes. I think there will be something spiritual about doing the walk, and getting closer to nature and away from usual, everyday life.
"I'll be joined by a friend for around half of the walk, but the rest of the time I'll be on my own. I am scared, as anything could happen, but I'm looking forward to it. However, I'm looking forward to a hot bath and a bottle wine at the end of it even more so."
The walk was devised by legendary walker Alfred Wainwright back in the 1970s, and takes in no less than three of the UK’s National Parks — the Lake District, the Yorkshire Dales, and the Yorkshire Moors.
Rev'd Stuart hopes to walk an average of 13 miles per day, and he says he has been getting some practice.
"I walk quite often around the parish, but last weekend I walked for 21 miles and didn't feel too bad after it," he said.
"But I realise there is a big difference between walking 21 miles one day, and walking that amount of miles day after day.
"But I know it will be worth it. As the local vicar I come across lots of people facing issues with homelessness, so Maggs Day Centre here in Worcester was an obvious choice. And with family and friends affected by cancer, the Worcestershire Breast Unit Campaign appeal was an obvious local second choice.”
Donations can be made by visiting uk.virginmoneygiving.com/christopherstuart.