Daredevil Bishop praying for help on Big One climb

The Bishop of Burnley is preparing to climb to the heavens - by climbing the highest rollercoaster in Europe.
The Bishop on an earlier abseilThe Bishop on an earlier abseil
The Bishop on an earlier abseil

The Rt Rev. Philip North will be praying he has a head for heights when he climbs The Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach to raise money for a building project at St John's Church, Lytham.

It will not be the first time the Bishop has attempted a daring stunt – not long after being made a Bishop in 2015 he abseiled down the outside of St John’s Church tower in Whittle-le-Woods, near Chorley.

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Amazingly, Bishop Philip admits he is uncomfortable with heights, but this time at least the stunt will involve a steady climb up steps rather than abseiling down the outside of the rollercoaster structure; and there will be ropes and safety staff on hand as well.

The Big One at BlackpoolThe Big One at Blackpool
The Big One at Blackpool

He 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 climb up The Big One begins at 8pm this Friday. When he reaches the top, Bishop Philip will say prayers for the surrounding town and its people as well as the whole of Lancashire from 235 feet above sea level; as well as prayers for a safe descent!

St John’s Church, Lytham, is raising £100,000 for extensive works at the back of the church, including disabled facilities, a kitchen and a place where children's activities can take place.