Bishop's climb to the heavens up Blackpool Pleasure Beach's Big One rollercoaster

Bishop Philip North abseiled down the outside of St Johns Church tower in Whittle-le-Woods, near Chorley in 2015
Bishop Philip North abseiled down the outside of St Johns Church tower in Whittle-le-Woods, near Chorley in 2015
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Have you heard the one about the Bishop and the Big One?

A Lancashire church has challenged its Bishop and a key member of its leadership team to take on a white-knuckle challenge to raise money for a flagship development project.

The Bishop of Burnley, Rt Rev Philip North, and lay reader at St John’s in Lytham, Joanne Hutchinson, have agreed to clamber 235ft up the Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach tomorrow evening (Friday).

All money raised will go towards extensive works at the back of the church, including disabled facilities, a kitchen and a place where children’s activities can take place.

Bishop Philip said: “I’m excited - and a bit apprehensive for Friday night, but I’m sure I will be in good hands.

“And with lots of prayer before - and during - the climb, I’m certain it will turn out to be a great night and will hopefully raise lots of money for a wonderful cause.

“It will also be amazing to see Blackpool and the surrounding area from such a high and exposed position and to pray for the town and the county while I’m up there.”

The Bishop has previous with daring stunts – not long after being made a Bishop in 2015 he abseiled down the outside of St John’s Church tower in Whittle-le-Woods.

The climb up the Big One will begin at 8pm tomorrow. The stunt involves a steady climb up steps rather than abseiling down the outside of the rollercoaster structure; with safety staff on hand.