NEWS, NEWS, NEWS ... The Moth has landed!
“The Moth has landed,” tweeted the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton.
The tweet and a similar post on the diocesan Facebook page was meant to assure people that Bishop Richard had fulfilled his pledge to go skydiving and had completed the task successfully and unharmed.
Joined by Lucy Barnes, a local Catholic school teacher, Bishop Moth jumped from a plane at 15,000 feet to raise money to take ailing pilgrims to Lourdes.
“He flies through the air with the greatest of ease,” said another tweet, referring to our Bishop. The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales tweeted: “Is it a bird? Is it a plane? … Wait, it’s a bishop!” They made no reference to the insect that flies and shares the bishop’s name.
With an initial goal of £3,000, the bishop, at the time of writing, has so far doubled that.
Bishop Richard said: “It requires you to trust in the person you are in tandem with and in the equipment. The staff, however, are very professional and looked after us really well.” Both the bishop and Lucy jumped in tandem with – and harnessed to – an instructor.
Lucy said, “It was very cold at 15,000 feet and the one minute of freefall made my head spin, but then the gently drifting down with the parachute open was fantastic as you could see everything around you.”
When asked if they would do it again, Bishop Richard is said to have given a hesitant “I might,” while Lucy said, “I would not go up again and am glad to be back on earth, and feeling so much better after fish and chips, and gin and tonic!”
Each year, the Diocese organises a pilgrimage to Lourdes for one week in late July. Over 700 pilgrims travel with 120 of those are sick, frail, elderly or disabled. Some pilgrims and their carers find it hard to fund their trip, and so from time to time we fundraise to subsidise their fare and accommodation in Lourdes.
It is still possible to sponsor Bishop Richard or Lucy. Please give generously in one of the following ways:
• By purple Gift Aid parish envelope, marked ‘+R skydive’
• By Lourdes pilgrimage envelope, available in your parish
• By donating at: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/bishoprichardskydive