FATHER TAKES A WALK
Walk on the wild side to raise funds for church
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