Gordon Presbytery walk

A MEMBER of St Andrew’s Church will set off this Saturday (May 14) on a 188 mile walking trip to top up the coffers of the Church.

Peter Donaldson, who is fabric convener at St Andrew’s is embarking on a sponsored walk around all the Kirks in Gordon Presbytery.

The former Chief Executive of Gordon District Council and Director of Property and Housing, Aberdeenshire Council will start out from his home at Rutherford Fold walking between ten and 20 miles per day over a 13 day period.

Mr Donaldson said: “It is my intention to walk the entire route. I am still fairly confident that I can complete the course (barring mishaps). Over the last few weeks the Session Clerk (Ralph Green) and I have driven the route and firmed up the mileage and confirmed finish and start points. Walkers, including myself, will return home each day at the end of a stage and restart from there the following morning on the next stage. I am very pleased to report that there will be other walkers accompanying me for at least part of the route.

“The route I have devised takes in most of the Churches in Gordon Presbytery and tries as far as is possible to avoid main roads, so it is obviously not the most direct route, but as safe as possible.”

Mr Donaldson explained that while the refurbishments are complete in St Andrew’s, the budgeted £450,000 proved to be insufficient to complete the renovations and a further £100,000 was needed, in part due to the unexpected malfunction of the boiler. He added: “We have a fund raising committee and we have applied for various grants and organised fashion shows, musical evenings and a variety of other things to pay back the loans for the extra money.

“I am very grateful to those of you who have already given sponsor money or pledges. St Andrew’s now looks good and we need as much assistance as possible to repay the loans we had to take when the boiler failed and new lighting was required for the Chapel.

“So far no one has volunteered to join me and walk the entire route but anyone/everyone is welcome to do so. The only stipulation is that they find their own sponsors. Unless you are young and very fit (which I am neither) then you will need to do some training, that’s why you will see me early most mornings and evenings walking around Polinar, Keithhall etc. Feel free to join me.”

Anyone who would like to sponsor Mr Donaldson on his walk or would like more information can contact him on (01467) 620828 or mobile 07757 701186.

As a seasonal walker who made a 500 mile trip across the Pyrenees by foot last year, Mr Donaldson said: “I’ll be walking according to the programme come hail or shine but I do hope it will be dry.”

St Andrew’s has many facilities available for use by the community, including the Old and New Halls and the new, multi-purpose room which has a capacity of about 35. To hire any of the facilities, contact St Andrew’s Church office on (01467) 620468 between 9.15am and 5.30pm or email standrews@btinternetcom.