SCOTLAND: Priest bungee jumps in Scottish Highlands for persecuted Church
By John Newton
19 June 2012
A priest took a leap of faith with a difference when he performed a bungee jump in the Highlands of Scotland to raise money for persecuted and other suffering Christians around the world.
Fr Paul Morton, parish priest of St Bride’s in Cambuslang, near Glasgow, made the jump on the Feast of the Sacred Heart (Friday 15 June) to raise money for Aid to the Church in Need.
The 40m jump took place in the Pass of Killiecrankie, Perthshire, from the only permanent bungee platform in the UK, which is owned by Highland Fling Bungee who supervised the event.
“It was absolutely terrifying,” said Fr Morton.
Asked what he thought as he fell towards the River Garry, he replied: “I was thinking that my mother and father used to tell me not to jump off high places.”
Father Paul Morton plummets towards the River Garry in the Scottish Highlands on his bungee jump
Father Paul Morton prepares to take a leap of faith with a diference - a bungee jump to raise money for Aid to the Church in Need
Fr Morton has already raised £3,000 – and joked about his parishioners’ generosity.
He said: “I was suspicious that they were giving a lot of money for the event, and I wondered why – I thought maybe they were trying to get rid of me!”
The priest added: “The final amount will probably be in excess of £3,000, because there’s still money coming in.”
Fr Morton said he did not know why the stunt had raised so much: “I told parishioners I was jumping for Aid to the Church in Need and it just caught the imagination of people.
“I don’t know why, but people got quite excited about it.”
He explained that the charity was popular with members of his congregation.
He said: “Over the last 10, maybe 11, years we’ve supported Aid to the Church in Need here in St Bride's and every year we have a project which we do for Aid to the Church in Need.
“It’s a charity that’s become recognised for all its good work and the people here are very much supporters of Aid to the Church in Need, so it seemed natural to choose Aid to the Church in Need and – as one of the parishioners said – we know the money’s going right to where it’s needed.”
Asked if he had heard of any other priests doing a bungee jump for charity Fr Morton said: “Absolutely not – and if I did I would tell them not to do it.”