BY Staff Reporter | August 17 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


85-year-old to lead first Ben Nevis Rosary

An 85-year-old is set to take part in what is thought to be the first ever Rosary prayed while climbing Ben Nevis.

The mammoth feat will be undertaken by a group of the faithful from Craig Lodge ­Family House of Prayer.

Led by 85-year-old Calum MacFarlane-Barrow, who founded Craig Lodge as a retreat centre from a hunting lodge along with his wife Mary Anne, the group will tackle the UK’s highest mountain, all the while praying a continuous Rosary as they complete the ascent.

Mr MacFarlane-Barrow said that to their knowledge it ‘probably is’ the first Rosary prayed during a Ben Nevis ascent.

“Mass has been celebrated at the top, that’s been done, but I don’t think a Rosary from the bottom up to the top has ever been done before,” he said. “It hasn’t to my knowledge anyway.”

September 1 will see the climbers set off on the 1,344m (4,409ft) journey, as they aim to raise money to support the running of Craig Lodge.

The group are encouraging people to continue to donate towards their £10,000 target via their JustGiving page or at their website, in order to ‘help keep the doors of Craig Lodge open and the soup flowing!’

“Each year we find that we get so much income from retreatants coming, but we’re also very dependent on the donations coming in to help us keep the place going,” Mr MacFarlane-Barrow noted.

The climbers have also offered to carry the prayer petitions of others with them on their climb, which can be sent to:, where they would be ‘very happy to receive any intentions people might want to have prayed for.’

Praying the Rosary is an important feature of life at the Craig Lodge community, where they try to pray the Rosary three times every day, with Mr MacFarlane-Barrow noting that the more it is prayed, ‘one gets more and more of a love for it,’ and there are ‘incredible graces’ to be received from praying the Rosary.

Mr MacFarlane-Barrow has climbed Ben Nevis three times previously, and hopes a bad knee won’t be enough to hold him back on the day.

“I’m hoping I get the grace to go up,” he said. “Even if I get halfway I’d be chuffed.”

Among those in the climbing group will be his daughter, Ruth and son-in-law Ken, as well as two leaders of the St Conan’s pilgrim way, a walk that the Craig Lodge ­community completed two years ago.

“The main this is we’re really praying for people’s intentions,” Mr ­MacFarlane-Barrow said. “If people want to contribute, obviously that’d be very, very welcome on the ­JustGiving page.”

You can donate to Craig Lodge’s JustGiving by visiting:

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