A serving priest of 37 years is set to walk a full marathon in aid of The East Lancashire Hospice.

On Wednesday, Father Brian Kealey, Parish priest of the Catholic Parish of the Sacred Hearts, Darwen, will be walking from Darwen to Burnley and back to try and help recoup some of the money the hospice has missed out on due to lockdown.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Father Kealey, 61, has spent the last three years in Blackburn with Darwen overseeing both St Edwards and St Joseph’s churches, and is no stranger to walking having previously trekked the 100 miles Dales Highway in nine days.

Father Kealey said: "Covid-19 has severely affected charity fundraising and East Lancashire Hospice have experienced this first hand.

"I know the hospice appreciate all sponsorship monies they receive and I chose to walk from Darwen to Burnley taking advantage of the beautiful moors.

"The route I will be taking uses part of the Rossendale Way and dates back to the 18th and 19th Century following the path many miners and mill workers used."

Lancashire Telegraph:

Due to the restrictions around Covid-19, Father Brian will be undertaking the walk solo, however he is inviting people to join with him in any way they can, be that by walking 26 miles themselves or taking 26 steps or laps of the garden or street in 26 minutes.

Fundraising and marketing lead for East Lancashire Hospice, Sharon Crymble, said: "The closure of our retail shops and furniture warehouse along with the cancellation of fundraising events has had a big impact on our funding income.

"As a result things will be tough for the foreseeable future but working together with our community supporters, we will come through this.

"We are extremely grateful to Father Kealey for his amazing efforts and we wish him the very best of luck."

Lancashire Telegraph:

Father Kealey will be starting his walk from St Joseph’s Church in Darwen and will end along the tracks above Manchester Road to the New Waggoners’ pub where he will enjoy a well-earned pint of water before turning around and repeating his journey in reverse.

To support Father Brian visit justgiving.com/fundraising/brian-kealey