Walk on the wild side to raise funds for church

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - by Kather­ine Cle­men­tine kather­ine.cle­men­tine@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A BRAVE Hare­field Parish priest took to the skies to raise money for his church.

Fa­ther Jim Mul­li­gan, of St Paul’s Ro­man Catholic Church, bal­anced on top of a Sec­ond World War Boe­ing–Stear­man bi­plane in a hair-rais­ing spon­sored flight. He was rais­ing money for new seat­ing at the church.

Af­ter com­plet­ing the wing walk, Fa­ther Mul­li­gan told the Gazette: “You’re strapped onto a bar and then you’re on your own. What sur­prised me was the strength of the wind. It’s re­ally strong.

“It’s quite thrilling, while you’re up there you’re too busy to be scared.”

The 69-year-old priest, who is also the Chap­lain at Hare­field Hos­pi­tal, was sup­ported by parish­ioners who came along to the Chiltern Park Aero­drome in Ox­ford­shire.

Re­lieved af­ter step­ping down from the plane when the wing walk was over, shaven-headed Fa­ther Mul­li­gan, joked: “Wow. That would be hair-rais­ing – if I had any hair. Af­ter this I am never go­ing to com­plain about Ryanair again.”

The wing walk, on Satur­day, July 25, raised £14,000 for much-need new seat­ing at the church.

Fa­ther Mul­li­gan is no stranger to ex­treme ac­tiv­i­ties, hav­ing ab­seiled in 2010 and com­pleted a para­chute jump in 2012, both for char­ity.

He added: “The late Chris Fin­negan (from Uxbridge), the for­mer Olympic box­ing mid­dleweight gold medal win­ner, said that any man who says he is not scared be­fore climb­ing into the box­ing ring is a fool or a liar. I fig­ure the same goes for any­one do­ing a wing walk.”

To do­nate to the church seat­ing fund con­tact: St Paul’s Ro­man Catholic Church, 2 Merle Av­enue, Hare­field, UB9 6DG.

n UP, UP AND AWAY: Fa­ther Jim com­pletes his wing­walk over Ox­ford­shire. Right, strapped to the plane and ready for take-off

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