Vicar reaching height of vocation in steeplejack climb at St Paul’s Bow Common

The Rv Bernadette Hegarty (inset) in bid to climb steeple of St Paul's, Bow Common

The Rv Bernadette Hegarty (inset) in bid to climb steeple of St Paul's, Bow Common - Credit: St Paul's Bow Common

A vicar is going up the wall trying to get the money to fix the leaky roof in her parish church.

Repairs are badly needed at St Paul’s, Bow Common, in London’s East End.

So the plucky Rev Bernadette Hegarty is taking matters into her own hands and plans to heave herself with rope and pulley up 50ft to the top of the steeple as a ‘sponsored steeplejack’.

“I’m scaling up the scaffolding of my church to raise £1,000—weather permitting,” she told the East London Advertiser.

“But it will certainly be an ordeal for me as I find both ladders and heights very scary. I’m told by the builders that it’s a great view up there, but I will certainly need encouragement.”


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Bernadette attempts her ascent at lunchtime today at the church in Burdett Road, on the corner of Bow Common Lane, in front of a crowd of her well-wishing parishioners—as long as the weather holds out.

She has been planning the fundraising stunt for some weeks, but that was before the weather turned with the touch of snow at the weekend.

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The church, opened in the 1960s, badly needs repairs to the roof which is becoming a little exposed to the heavens, giving her parishioners the shivers now winter has set in.

Bernadette intends blessing the cross at the top of the steeple while she’s up there, apart from admiring the view of neighbouring Limehouse and Mile End.

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