Mayfield minister on the run for church project

Rev Sean Swindells of Newbattle Parish competing in  a 10k assault course to raise funds last year
Rev Sean Swindells of Newbattle Parish competing in a 10k assault course to raise funds last year

A local minister is to put on his running shoes again in a bid to raise money to make his church fit for community use seven days a week.

Rev Sean Swindells (54) of Mayfield and Easthouses Parish Church will team up with two other members of the church to take on the Mighty Deerstalker event in Tweeddale, a 10km run up hills and through mud and water, before he runs the Edinburgh Marathon in May.

He explained more about why he is doing these challenges: “It’s partly a mid-life crisis I think!

“Seriously though, we are starting to raise money for the re-development of Mayfield and Easthouses Church, which will cost up to £800,000.

“It’s an ongoing project, it will take quite some time to get there, but it’s working towards having the church as a community building, open seven days a week.

“We are trying to raise £2,000 together from this challenge. It’s 10k, up hills through rivers, but it’s at night using a head torch so it’s a bit different.

“Last year I did a muddy 10k event and raised £3,400 which was just tremendous. People were so generous. It really was incredible.

“I think my congregation see me doing it for a good cause, but I wonder if some of them think I’m slightly off the wall.

“I certainly have their support, definitely. I think people want to see their minister doing things that benefit the parish and that’s what I’m doing with this.”

The Reverend is excited about the church renovation plans, which include a cafe and a soft play area.

He said: “We have done a lot of work but we are now trying to get a more detailed business plan. You really have to do your paperwork to get to the point of people giving you money.

“We’ve really got to prove that what we are doing is required and is sustainable.

“It’s a work in progress, but we will certainly get there.”

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