Lancaster Archdeacon’s 15,000ft leap of faith

The Venerable Michael Everitt, Archdeacon of Lancaster.
The Venerable Michael Everitt, Archdeacon of Lancaster.
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The Archdeacon of Lancaster will swap the pulpit for a parachute this month when he makes a tandem jump from 15,000 feet for charity.

The Venerable Michael Everitt describes his jump on April 14, which will be at the Black Knights parachuting school at Cockerham Airfield in Lancashire, as ‘literally a leap of faith…”

It is the senior clergyman’s first ever experience of parachute jumping, and he will undergo basic training before being taken aloft in a light aircraft and strapped to an experienced parachute teacher, who will see him safely back to earth after a fall lasting some six minutes.

His aim is to raise funding to help him support the work of the Peru Mission in the city of Iquitos, located deep in the Amazon basin.

The mission works with disadvantaged poor people, in feeding, health care and education, as well as faith, working with local communities in all of its projects.

The English project co-ordinator Joe Plumb is the British Consul:, who went out to Peru as a Catholic Priest, but later moved into this work.

Archdeacon Michael said: “The school that we will be working with has been created by the local community, and we will be building a classroom with local workers.

“The current buildings are temporary, made with zinc and limited sanitation and catering facilities.

“We will also do some teaching and engagement, as well as being part of the mission work which links with the local Catholic and Pentecostal churches.”

“It is quite literally a leap of faith.

“For me to jump of the aeroplane involves not just facing my darkest thoughts, I also need to have faith.

“Faith in the testimony of those who have done it before, and complete confidence in the expertise of the person I will be strapped to and the quality of the equipment we will use.

“My proposed jump has led to many fascinating conversations, from my bishop colleague, who said he would sponsor me not to do it, to others who have offered large sums if I do it without a parachute!”

The entire experience will be recorded by helmet based cameras, and Archdeacon Michael is looking forward to getting his first-ever view of the entire Diocese of Blackburn in one go!

Donations in support of his jump can be made at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/michael-everitt1.