August 13, 2009

Priest walks high wire for charity

An English priest walked a tightrope for charity after his plan to be carried across by a circus performer proved unworkable because of his weight.

The Rev. Jerome Lloyd worked without a safety net, the Daily Mail reported. He walked across with his hands on the shoulders of Chico Marinhos, a tightrope walker with Zippos Circus.

Marinhos had planned to emulate a stunt performed by the great Frenchman Charles Blondin, who carried his manager across a high wire suspended above Niagara Falls at the U.S.-Canadian border in New York in 1859. Marinhos has already copied another Blondin feat, cooking an omelet on the high wire.

But Marinhos, once he had the 150-pound Lloyd on his shoulders, was unable to stand up, so the two men made a last-minute revision.

Lloyd is a missionary priest with the National Catholic Apostolic Church, which believes the Roman Catholic Church went astray after the 16th century. He joined the circus temporarily in Hove to raise money for Sussex Beacon, which helps people with AIDS.

It did actually feel fine, Lloyd said. I wasn't really at all nervous as I'm not scared of heights. The only thing I was concerned about was that I would make Chico nervous.