THE Parish of Derg and Termonamongan’s intrepid rector, Rev Peter Ferguson, is hoping to complete a full marathon – praying as he runs – to raise funds for repair and restoration work in church buildings in his parish.
The first Derg and Killeter Parish ‘Door-to-Door Marathon’ will take place on Friday, provided Rev Ferguson has recovered sufficiently from a foot injury.
“The idea is that I run a marathon starting from the rectory front door, running 26.2 miles around this beautiful parish and the Derg Valley, and back to the rectory front door,” he said.
Rev Ferguson said if the event went well it would be something he would like to repeat on a monthly basis.
“At this time of lockdown I really miss being out and about in the parish, meeting parishioners and members of the wider community,” he said. “
I’ve always loved running and when I run or jog I spend that time praying. So, the idea came that I would train up for the first ‘Door-to-Door Derg and Killeter Parish Marathon’, praying for the parish and the community as I go.”
Rev Ferguson said parish fundraisers had been severely affected by the COVID-19 emergency and he hoped his marathons would bring in much-needed income.
“There’s repair work to be done on St Bestius’ Church in Killeter. Derg Parish are also raising money for capital projects. And we’ve a long-term vision to upgrade the parish youth hall which is used by the whole community.
“Friends encouraged me to think about setting up a JustGiving page as a way of raising some much-needed funds for parish projects.
"We had many community-reaching parish fundraising initiatives [planned] over these coming months and they have all been cancelled, so this is a way I can connect with the community and the parish and bring some encouragement, and also raise some funds for parish projects.”
The rector said his parish marathon was not intended as a Free Will Offering replacement but rather as a community fundraising initiative in the Derg and Killeter Parish Group.
It won’t be the first time Rev Ferguson will have run the distance.
He has completed the Belfast Marathon on three occasions, clocking a personal best time of three hours and 24 minutes.
If you’d like to support the Parish of Derg and Termonamongan’s fundraising effort, you can donate to their JustGiving Crowdfunding page: