Support us in our leap of faith for a good cause
Published on 18 May, 2017
Dangling 165ft off the ground above the Firth of Forth attached to a rope is not for the faint hearted.
It takes guts and nerves of steel to willingly abseil off one of the world’s most iconic rail bridges.
But that is what the Moderator of the General Assembly plans to do to raise at least £10,000 for the Church of Scotland’s social care arm, CrossReach.
Right Rev Dr Russell Barr is standing down from his year-long ambassador role on Saturday and is looking forward to abseiling off the Forth Rail Bridge in aid of a good cause.
Dr Barr has done a charity parachute jump before but this is first abseil.
Very Rev Dr John Chalmers, Principal Clerk to the General Assembly, and Peter Baillie, chief executive of CrossReach, are also taking part in the epic event on May 28 at South Queensferry near Edinburgh.
The brave men are also retiring from their respective roles shortly and want to have a last hurrah before bowing out.
CrossReach is one of Scotland’s largest provider of social services and provides care for older people, help with alcoholism, drug and mental health problems and assistance for homeless people and those with special learning needs.
It employs around 2,000 people across the country and provides services to people of all faiths or none at all.
Dr Barr said: “The General Assembly starts on Saturday and I am going to be handing over my duties to my successor, Rev Dr Derek Browning.
“But rather than just standing down quietly, I want to finish with a flourish.
“CrossReach is one of the great organisations within the Church of Scotland.
“It is doing fabulous work in a difficult financial climate and donations could make all the difference.
“My wife Margaret and I spent a bit of time visiting services and staff and we were really impressed by the work they do.
“So I wanted to do something to raise funds and its profile and what better way to do it than to abseil off the Forth Rail Bridge.
“I am very much looking forward to it.
“We are known as the Three Formers – what could be better than that and what could go wrong?”
Mr Bailey said he was “thrilled” about the prospect of taking part in the event, which is being organised by the for Rotary Club of South Queensferry Trust Fund
“I am excited and very much looking forward to it,” he added.
“CrossReach is a great cause.
“I have been chief executive officer for almost eight years and I wanted to do something to mark my retirement.
“Little did I know this would be the venture I would be doing but it is important that the profile of CrossReach is raised through this event and funds are raised for marvellous services across Scotland.”
Dr Chalmers is no stranger to abseiling having jumped off the Titan Crane in Clydebank in 2015 to raise money for an armed forces charity.
“I am really looking forward to tackling the Forth Rail Bridge but I was rather hoping we would be higher up,” he joked.
“Climbing over the edge is a real moment but once you are over it is great fun.
“All of us want to see CrossReach flourish.
“We set out with a fairly modest fundraising target of £3,000 but we have passed that as well as a revised £5,000 target so I think we should be heading towards £10,000 before the jump itself.
“Then it will have been all worthwhile.”