Morris Rodham is the local and 'new' (since June 2019) Vicar of St Patrick's Church, Patterdale, in the heart of the Lake District, at the south end of Ullswater.
But he is not a stereo-typical vicar (if there is such a thing?!).
He has been a keen mountain walker for over 30 years, in every mountain area of the UK. He is a qualified summer Mountain Leader, and has 20 years of winter walking and mountaineering experience too, including several trips abroad to USA and Canada ice-climbing. He has climbed all of the Scottish Munros (284 mountains over 3,000ft), in every weather condition possible (final Munro in the photo in the gallery below with him lifting his wife Judith above his head......she wanted to be higher than him on his final one!). He just loves being out in the mountains,..... and helping other people enjoy them too!
He started taking groups out into the mountains when he was a vicar in the Midlands. The church did lots of work with recovering addicts, and he would help them by taking them for a different sort of 'high' camping out high in the mountains! He also ran mountain days for the many students and young adults in and beyond the congregation. He has organised and led mountain walking trips since for a wide range of different people and ages.
Morris moved to a more strategic position in 2010, overseeing church growth principles for about 230 churches in Coventry and Warwickshire, clergy appointments, establishing new churches, and community development initiatives in more deprived areas.
However, when he heard about the opportunity coming up to be the vicar of Patterdale in 2019, with a vicarage at the foot of Helvellyn, he decided to jump at that opportunity! Such an opportunity was too good to miss for some-one who loved the mountains so much!
The vicar role is part-time and unpaid. The house is offered in return for part-time work in the parish. But Morris and Judith obviously need some income to survive financially, and so have been given permission to use some bedrooms in the house for paying guests, and Morris will use his skills and qualifications as a Mountain Leader.
Judith Rodham is an experienced nursery and reception teacher. She is a keen dancer, and runs and attends dance events with Morris (who is also a DJ). She also loves creating a lovely 'home from home' atmosphere and offering hospitality for people who stay with us.
They both love this area and want to share it with you!