Fr Barnes and Matthew get their heads together for cancer charity
By Amanda Connelly
A Glasgow parish priest and altar server have both bravely shaved their heads to support those with cancer.
Fr Gerry Barnes, parish priest of St Benedict’s Church, Drumchapel and one of the parish’s young altar servers, 11-year-old Matthew Munro (above), underwent a sponsored head shave in order to support people living with or who have died from cancer.
Despite being a small parish, the pair received an outpouring of support from fellow parishioners, family members and friends, who helped them raise around £1,500 in sponsorship money to be put towards a number of cancer charities. The monies raised have been split between the Beatson Institute, MacMillan Cancer Support, and St Margaret’s Hospice in Clydebank.
Fr Barnes chose to shave his head in order to support somebody he knows who is going through chemotherapy, and has agreed to keep his head shaven for as long as the individual deals with hair loss.
Matthew’s family do something every year for MacMillan, having known people close to the family who have died of cancer, and this year convinced his mum to allow him to shave his head in support, after Fr Barnes made the move.
The head shave marks the second time Fr Barnes has shaved his head to support those living with cancer, following a close-cut in 1999, when he supported a pupil with leukaemia who attended the school to which he was chaplain, having his beard and then-ponytail cut off.
Fr Barnes described his new haircut as being ‘cold,’ telling people he was ‘getting a new job as a draught detector.’
“It was worth it for the cause and it’s got a bit of a conversation going,” he said. “It helps in some way of raising awareness.”
“It was a good experience,” he added.