13,000ft leap of faith for the Bishop of Lewes

Bishop Richard Jackson mid-jump

The Bishop of Lewes took a literal leap of faith this week when he jumped out of a plane at 13,000ft in aid of church work in communities. 

He wasn't alone in the effort as joining him in the jump was the Archdeacon of Manchester Karen Lund, the Archdeacon of Cambridge Alex Hughes and supporters of Church Urban Fund. 

Bishop Jackson took part in the jump to raise funds and awareness of the work being done by Church Urban Fund within communities.

"The Church Urban Fund and the joint project we have in the diocese, Together in Sussex, is an incredibly important organisation, it does transformative work in communities throughout the UK, helping local churches think through how they can engage more effectively with their communities," he said. 

"Despite the minor discomfort of falling out of an aeroplane at 13,000 feet, I'm very glad that we've raised quite a bit of money to support these really great projects."

He described the experience of parachuting as "quite intense, I have to say".

"I like the ground a lot," he quipped.  "All the limbs are still attached and functioning, which is very good news."

He added: "I'm not planning to do it again anytime soon!"

Archdeacon Alex also took the jump in good humour: "A disconcerting number of people have offered to sponsor me in exchange for being able to push me out of the plane!"

Church Urban Fund was set up by the Church of England 30 years ago to help churches bring positive change to their neighbourhoods. 

It works across the country tackling issues like homelessness, loneliness and community cohesion. 

Bishop Richard and his fellow fundraisers can still be sponsored at their 'Leap of Faith fundraiser page here.