Friends take on 20-mile Kiltwalk challenge to raise cash for Paisley Abbey

Three intrepid church elders will be lacing up their walking boots on Friday to trek 20 miles through Renfrewshire to raise cash for Paisley Abbey.

Friends Priscilla Routley, Jan Norris and Sylvia Jenks are taking on the Virtual Kiltwalk, which will see them walk from Barrhead to Bridge of Weir and back again.

The determined trio are hoping to raise as much cash as they can for Paisley Abbey as the iconic church has been left struggling financially due to the covid pandemic.

The three women – who have all been involved with the church for 40 years – had set a target of £858 to mark the number of years the Abbey has been in Paisley.

However, they have already smashed the initial target and are now hoping to bring in as many donations as they can.

Paisley woman Priscilla told the Express: “When the church is shut, it doesn’t bring in the same amount of money.

“We usually would hire out the building for events and work with the council regarding the light switch-ons and things but without that, there is very little income.

“We, as church elders and the congregation are responsible for maintaining and looking after this big, wonderful, medieval building and there are only about 400-500 of us which is not a lot when you consider the size of the building.

“It is a huge cost and a lot of people don’t realise the huge job of running it and the impact covid has had.

“Without money, it will have an impact on the beautiful building.”

Priscilla, Jan and Sylvia, from Barrhead, have all been left overwhelmed by the donations so far and are hopeful they can bring in more than enough cash to support the abbey.

Priscilla added: “People have been so generous. The more we can get, the more we can do to help.

“The building is important to people in Paisley for so many different reasons and we’re happy people have been supportive.

“Now that we have beaten our target, we would love to triple it as there are three of us.

“That would be fantastic.”

The trio – who are all in their 60s and 70s – are also looking forward to the 20-mile challenge, having had plenty of time to train during lockdown.

Priscilla added: “All we have been able to do for the past year is walk as there has been nothing else to do during lockdown.

“So we have had plenty of practice.

“I have never walked 20 miles before so we’ll see how we get on, but the weather is supposed to be nice so that is half the battle!”

To donate to their fundraiser, CLICK HERE.

Daily Record – Paisley