Pensioners gear up for 90 mile walk to raise money for church roof

  • Video report by ITV News Anglia's Charlie Frost

Not many people in their 70s would consider walking from Essex to North Norfolk but that is exactly what two friends from the Colchester area are getting ready to do.

Rosemary and Rina will be retracing the steps of the Romans by walking 90 miles up the Peddar's Way - and it is all for a very good cause.

Rosemary and Rina will be retracing the steps of the Romans Credit: ITV Anglia

Rosemary is raising money for a new roof for St Andrew’s Church in the village of Little Massingham in Norfolk.

She grew up in the village before moving to Colchester and her family were patrons of the church for generations.

Not only was Rosemary and her children christened there, but her great great grandfather came to Little Massingham in 1820 to become the Rector at the church.

Her great grandfather and grandfather went on to fill the role too.

But, unfortunately, three years ago all of the lead was stolen from the roof and £150,000 is needed to repair it.

Since the theft, the church has had a temporary roof covering it but it is coming to the end of its life.

All the money donated will go towards restoring the church roof after all the lead was stolen

Rina is fundraising for local causes for the young and the old in the village of Layer de la Haye in Essex.

Originally due to set off in April, Covid-19 scuppered their plans, but lockdown has allowed for more training and more research into their route.

Finding proof that the ancient route, Peddar's Way, that is well known for spanning Norfolk to Suffolk, did come down further into Essex. 

Rosemary and Rina have been following a strict training regime

The project has not only been great for their history, it's also been great for their health.

Rosemary has gone from being able to walk just a mile, to now 10 a day and Rina says she feels fitter and has lost weight.

It also kept them going and staved off the loneliness during lockdown.

The pair begin their seven day step back in time on September 22nd at 10.30am from Balkerne Gate in Colchester.  A fitting Roman start! For more information on Rosemary’s walk and details of the planned route visit: