The Vicar of Preston is flying some 6,300 miles to help build a classroom for disadvantaged youngsters in Peru.
The Venerable Michael Everitt, Archdeacon of Lancaster, is swapping the pulpit for a plane this month, travelling to the city of Iquitos with his wife Ruth as part of the Peru Mission’s work in the port city, improving education facilities at Santo Tomas Nursery and Primary School.
Archdeacon Michael said: “They’ve been building a school and now that’s it is registered we’re going to build a new classroom and toilet facilities with a proper roof over their heads. It needs to be moved from the shacks they are in into proper buildings.”
Michael and Ruth will take the nine hour flight to Lima, followed by a further two hour flight to Iquitos, alongside eight children and five staff from Oakhill School in Whalley.
Michael, from Fulwood, said: “We’re taking them to learn about life in another part of the world and about issues surrounding different ways of life such as poverty.”
Regarding the journey itself, Michael added: “Iquitos is a city of 750,000 but you can only get there by air or by sea. It’s right in the middle of the Amazon so even though it’s winter, we’re ready for thunderstorms and heat!”
The Peru Mission works with disadvantaged poor people, in feeding, health care and education, as well as faith, while working with local communities in all of its projects.
The project has been co-ordinated by the British Consul in Iquitos, Joe Plumb.
The three-week trip to Peru follows Archdeacon Michael’s parachute jump in April.
He took to the skies and jumped out of a plane from 15,000 feet in the air, raising some £4,000 for the Peru Mission.
“I expected to raise £1,000 but before gift aid we’re at more than £4,000, so it’s a lot,” he explained. “A lot has also donated directly too.
“The financial support has been accompanied by prayers and by blessings for the work of the Mission.
“The generosity of giving and of the spirit has been overwhelming.
“We are travelling to Peru in faith and with confidence.”