The rector of the Church of Ireland Parish of Ballymena, the Rev Canon Stuart Lloyd, successfully conquered the height of Everest when he scaled Slemish Mountain 50 times.
Stuart’s 50 ascents totalled a height of 30,000 feet surpassing the peak of Everest which stands at 29,000 feet.
Stuart began his challenge on Monday June 16 at 9am and finished at 7pm on Wednesday June 18, sleeping out on the mountain.
The event was organised to raise funds for the parish’s partner church in Nepal, and Stuart was ably supported by some of his parishioners who joined him at various stages and in turn totalled 87 ascents.
Their partner church in Kathmandu is Sundar Dhoka, and it has a special outreach known as Sati Sewa or Friends’ Service. This provides support for those who come into Kathmandu from the villages, often for hospital treatment, who feel lost and have no means of help. The money raised through the Slemish Challenge will further this outreach and will also be used to develop a small craft industry which provides some means of livelihood for the church members.
The partnerhsip with Nepal has been ongoing for several years. Stuart and his wife Jane are regular visitors to that country and it is hoped that a party from Ballymena will be going to Kathmandu next year.