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Thursday, March 23, 2017
Commando cleric kicks off £750,000 campaign
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¬†A former Royal Marines chaplain is facing the fight of his life to raise £750,000 to restore his Stirling church. The Rev Kit Jarman made it through a gruelling six-month commando course to join the Royal Marines in 1973. He spent the next 20 years serving with the crack troops in, among other places, Northern Ireland, before leaving to join the Scottish Episcopal Church. Now 64, he has started up a campaign of his own to raise three quarters of a million pounds for his new HQ - Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Stirling. Kit kicked off the campaign by leading a sponsored walk around the 125-year-old Victorian building. He circled it 220 times, covering the same amount of ground as a full 26-mile marathon. "I was determined not to let the Corps down - even nine years after I left," said Kit (full name Christopher). "That was on of the things that kept me going." The church has also just written to the 600 other 'Holy Trinity' churches in the UK and the Republic of Ireland asking for help with the huge appeal. Kit wrote the letter, describing himself and the growing Stirling congregation. He has already received a handful of positive replies and only one slight setback. A Welsh Holy Trinity wrote back saying: "We also have an over-50, overweight vicar and we need to meet bills similar to yours. If you've got anything left over at the end, perhaps you could remember us". The first wave of fundraising has brought in more than £3,000. Kit and the congregation are now busy building up another battle plan to bring in the rest of the cash. They are also hoping to get support from Historic Scotland, the Lottery Heritage Trust and other bodies. Holy Trinity, built in 1878, is known as one of the most distinctive works of the renowned Victorian architect Sir R Rowand Anderson, who also designed Edinburgh's McEwan Hall. The whole building needs to be restored, although the roof has taken a particularly heavy battering from the Stirling weather. Anyone who wants to help the Stirling appeal can phone church treasurer Maurice Cheasley on 01786 472582. (The Scottish Episcopal Church is a member of the Anglican family of churches. It has hundreds of congregations across Scotland, from Burravoe on the Isle of Yell in the north to Kirkcudbright in the south.)
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