A DAREDEVIL priest has plunged 200ft from a crane to fund major renovation work to his church.

Most clergymen are no strangers to fundraising, but Father John Wiseman, of St Matthew’s Church in Market Street, Little Lever, has taken charity work to a new level.

The 56-year-old took part in a bungee jump from a mobile platform at the Queen’s Hotel in Bradley Lane, Bradley Fold, on Sunday.

Money raised will go towards a new roof for the church, which is estimated to cost about £1 million.

It is not the first of Father Wiseman’s thrill-seeking exploits — he exchanged his Bible and vestments for trainers and tracksuit to do a zip wire challenge last July.

He travelled 260 metres along the wire from the Imperial War Museum in Manchester to The Lowry to raise £2,000 for the fund.

Speaking before the jump hesaid: “I must be mad but it went so well when I did the zip wire. “We are about to start the first bit of the major work to the roof this year, so we thought we had better launch the fundraising campaign again.

“I found out about the bungee jump two weeks ago. I am just about okay with heights and I am looking forward to it.” There was no time to worry before the jump as Father Wiseman conducted two services on Sunday morning. The roof repair costs were initially thought to be £5,000 but Father Wiseman and the congregation were shocked to learn the whole roof would need to be replaced. Father Wiseman said: “I am hoping to do a skydive, so I am going to do zumba to get fit.”

To donote to the fund or to sponsor Father Wiseman go to saintmatthews.org.u