Fr Chris Gorton stands in front of Red Door wearing a red Caritas Salford sports top

Every Step Counts in priest’s epic fundraising mission

Monday 11th March 2024

A priest from one of our Bolton parishes is taking on an epic challenge this year to raise funds to tackle poverty, homelessness, and discrimination in our diocese – and is asking schools and individuals to support him.

Fr Chris Gorton, from the Parish of St Cuthbert in Bolton, is running the Camino de Santiago in aid of diocesan charity Caritas Salford, a distance of 924 kilometres – the equivalent of running from Manchester to Dundee and back again.

His challenge will start on 16 September and will be completed on 23 October.  He’s asking schools to consider taking on a challenge of their own by pledging to run or walk a set distance every day that he is running, or to agree to walk for a set time each day (for example fifteen minutes each lunchtime).

He said: “I want it to be a shared experience to help raise awareness and funds for the different Caritas projects which are close to my heart.

“It will hopefully encourage other people to take on the challenge of walking the Camino or taking on another challenge in aid of Caritas, and to challenge the children and young people to achieve something very worthwhile in their own setting.  I hope it will also give them the confidence to try other challenges.

“Runners are called Rungrims but I’ll certainly be putting the shell on my rucksack to make it clear this is a pilgrimage too. The medieval Christian world talked about the four stages of pilgrimage: the first is the call to go and I really sense that. I look forward to sharing some of the moments of training and challenges along the way.”

Fr Chris’s challenge is part of Caritas Salford’s Every Step campaign, which is asking people to consider doing a challenge – whether physical or mental – that pushes them out of their comfort zone in 2024.

A special pack has been put together for local schools, with resources available to help them as they take part in the challenge too.

The charity runs a wide range of services in communities across Greater Manchester and Lancashire, providing crisis support for people experiencing poverty, homelessness or are at risk of becoming homeless, and who are facing isolation or discrimination. They also work with people to help them to transform their lives for the long-term.

Patrick O’Dowd, director of Caritas Salford, said: “We’re in awe of this amazing challenge that Fr Chris has set himself and we can’t wait to hear more as he continues his training.  It’s an incredible distance to run and it’s fantastic that schools are going to be joining in their own way to mark his challenge too.

“As the cost-of-living crisis continues to hit people in the communities we work with locally hard, demand for our services is continuing to rise.  This is against an economic backdrop which means costs to deliver those services are also increasing, while funding is reducing or proving more difficult to access.  That’s why the generous support of people like Fr Chris is so vital and we can’t thank him and anyone else who is able to consider raising funds enough.  We really do appreciate it and couldn’t do what we do to support local people without you.”

To find out more about the Every Step campaign and Fr Chris’ challenge, or to sign up to take on a challenge of your own this year, visit

To sponsor Fr Chris, visit his Justgiving page:

Schools Resources

Schools across the diocese are invited to support Fr Chris in a number of different ways, from runs or sponsored walks, to sponsored classroom activities, playground challenges, and more! Download Caritas Salford’s schools fundraising pack by clicking here.

For a map of Fr Chris’ route, please click here.

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Tagged | Caritas | Caritas Salford | Catholic Church | Charity | Parishes | Schools

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