He will zip-wire over 160m across the River Tyne.
The terrified Fr Darren said “I’ve walked across the river over the Tyne Bridge, I've been under the river in the Tyne Tunnel, and I have been across it on a train and car… but, I have never used this mode of transport and maybe I will never do it again!”
Fr Darren says, “There are a lot of homeless people on the streets of Barnsley, far more than I ever realized.”
He hopes that by doing the zip-wire event he will be able to raise the profile of the homeless people in Barnsley which may be a more common occurrence than people think. “We have two tents and three people sleeping in St Mary’s Church porch at the moment.”
“There was a particular incident that spurred me on, and that was a gentleman who told me that entertaining the likes of these folk is devaluing the town. I was astounded as I had just had three of them in church for a coffee. He said people would not come to church because of these people sleeping in the porch. I said, ‘It was Saint Lawrence who was told to bring out the treasures of the church - these people are God's treasures like you and I’. He said, ‘I beg to differ. I was astounded!”
The money that this raises will go towards the Barnsley Deanery Homeless project, something that was set up by the Area Dean of Barnsley, Revd Stephen Race when, in 2013, the then Bishop of Wakefield, The Rt Revd Stephen Platten, gave each parish £100 in celebration of the 10th anniversary of his consecration. Bishop Stephen asked deanery to grow on their project by combining the money given to each parish.
“This money has been used to provide bedding, hot drinks and breakfast for the homeless people in the town” explained Fr Darren, “It has been used also to provide food when people have barely anything at home, or even to put gas and electric on to keep them warm.
“We top the fund up with coffee mornings and fundraising. My greatest vision would be to see more shelters like St George’s Crypt in Leeds.”
To donate to Fr Darren’s zip-wire challenge and support the Barnsley Deanery Homeless Project, please visit his Just Giving page here: https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/darren-percival