CLIMB the tower of Durham Cathedral 134 times,
and you have climbed the equivalent of the highest mountain in the
world: Mount Everest.
A group of 30 climbers, including families with primary-age
children; students from St John's College, Durham; ordinands from
Cranmer Hall; and a few older members of the Edith Jackson Trust
all took it on as a relay challenge in order to raise money for the
Episcopal Church in Sudan.
In the space of three hours, between the 30 of them, the tower
was climbed more than 200 times, which equalled more than one and a
half times the height of the mountain. One family, Mr and Mrs
Johnson and their three children, between them climbed it 35 times,
and the fittest students climbed up and down those turret steps 12
At the top of the tower, each breathless climber was given a
gold star, and, at the bottom, each gold star was added to a
picture of Everest, and soon the stars started to increase. The
Durham branch of Sainsbury's sponsored the climb with bottles of
water and high-energy bars, and most of the climbers said: "Let's
do it again next year."
The Vicar of St Giles', Durham, Dr Alan Bartlett
(above), chairman of the Trust, says: "As well as raising
thousands of pounds for the Trust, the group had a wonderful
evening - not least enjoying the stunning views over Durham as the
"There was a deep sense of camaraderie as each climber was
clapped up to the tower. It made the sweat, breathlessness, and
vertigo all worth it. The money will pay for toilets in the school
in Rokon, South Sudan."