Perth minister raises £3000 for community hub
Published on 16 July, 2016
Perth minister Rev Marc Bircham has raised more than £3,000 through his Facebook challenge “I’m a minister get me out of here,” that took him around Scotland completing bizarre tasks, physical challenges and random acts of kindness.
Marc, aka ‘Captain Awesome’, created the challenge to help raise £10,000 for a community hub based at his church, St Madoes and Kinfauns Parish Church. The Madoch centre will be a base for badly needed services for the elderly, teens, children and families in the Carse of Gowrie.
Donors were invited to challenge Marc with tasks during a week where he travelled to Aberdeen, Crieff, Lochearnhead, Inverness, Kilmarnock, Edinburgh and Glasgow. More than 10,500 people, many of them with no Church connections, visited the page to follow Marc’s exploits.
“The highlight of my week was visiting three projects” Marc says. “The Cyrenians work in Aberdeen is run totally on donations and with volunteers and I was impressed to see the enormous difference they are making. At the St Rollox Centre in Glasgow, I found a happy place with a real buzz about it. It was great to see this church project offering opportunities to immigrants and asylum-seekers.
“I also visited a local project, Kinfauns Riding for Disabled Centre where I saw how working with horses can make tremendous difference to young people and their families.
“I was happy that by visiting these projects more people will learn about the incredible work they doing.”
During the week, Marc chalked inspiring faith messages on city pavements, gave away apples and sweets, danced a Highland fling outside the Scottish Parliament and dressed up as the Kilmarnock Football Club mascot Nutz.
“My visit to Rugby Park was special because I was realising a boyhood dream,” Marc says. “Chaplain James McNey organised a great afternoon: I wasn't just shaking the mascot's hand but Igot to be the mascot. I even got to shoot a ball in the net.”
Marc says his hardest challenge was climbing an ice wall at Snow Factor ski centre in Braehead.
“My most challenging moment was looking at the ice wall and thinking there's no way I can do that,” he says. “But through the instructor's patience I made it to the top which gave me a real sense of achievement.”
One of his lowest moments, he said, was being stuck on top of the Cairngorms vernicular after lightning struck its tracks. But once the four-hour ordeal was over, Marc was on to the next challenge in good spirits.
“I am grateful to everyone who has contributed,” Marc says. “We have got one-third of the way to our goal of £10,000, which is a great step forward.”