Towering challenge: Fundraisers to scale Durham Cathedral 385 times

The Reverend Canon Dr Alan Bartlett and Rebecca Wilson get in some mountain training before the towering challenge.(Photo: Keith Blundy)

Students from St John's College, Durham University, will be among those scaling the tower of Durham Cathedral on May 15 to raise money for charity. 

The group of 40 fundraisers will climb the tower 385 times in a bid to match the height of Everest. 

Money raised by the effort will go towards the work of the Edith Jackson Trust, which supports the development of education in South Sudan.

Specifically, the funds will support a school in Rokon, opened in 2011. The village was formerly on the front line of the decades-long civil war, and has again been the scene of serious fighting in recent months.

The link between Durham and the school was forged by Rokon Bishop Francis Loyo after he was tutored by Dr Alan Bartlett, chair of the trust and a canon at Durham Cathedral, while a student at St John's College.

Despite recent serious fighting in the village, the school is "safe and still functioning", reports Dr Bartlett.

Rebecca Wilson, fundraising co-ordinator for the trust, said: "Everest is the highest point on earth and if we are going to aim to conquer something we might as well conquer the highest. The school in south Sudan is in great need at the moment."

The Edith Jackson Trust works in partnership with the Episcopal Church of Sudan but helps people of all faiths and none through teacher training and school construction programmes, as well as by caring for orphans and children from impoverished families who cannot afford to be sent to school.

Many Durham churches are also partnered with the trust and the Durham Cathedral challenge is taking place in an effort to raise £10,000 for new latrines and the training of more teachers.

"The need is huge," said Dr Bartlett.

You can support the fundraising at

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