Published: 1:15PM BST 13 Aug 2009 London Telegraph
Chico Marinhos, right, a high wire walker, is followed by local priest Father Jerome Lloyd, as they walk across a wire.
Photo: AFP Father Lloyd was meant to be carried along the rope on the back of a circus performer to re-enact a stunt by French wire walker Charles Blondin, who walked along a tightrope across the Niagara Falls with his manager on his back in 1859. But, after the tight rope walker was unable to lift him, the trick had to be adapted. The priest, who weighs 12.5st (80kg), said Chico Marinhos, a high wire walker with Zippos Circus, was unable to stand up once he was on his shoulders as he had nothing to lever himself up with from his position on top of the Big Top. Father Lloyd, who was raising money for charity, said there was nothing else they could do other than for him to walk across the rope himself, holding on to the high wire walker's shoulders as he crossed it in front of him. He said of the stunt, which was carried out where the touring circus is currently performing in Hove, East Sussex: ''It did actually feel fine. I wasn't really at all nervous as I'm not actually scared of heights. ''The only thing I was concerned about was I was worried that I would make Chico nervous.'' Father Lloyd, 43, a missionary priest from the National Catholic Apostolic Church, carried out the stunt wearing his traditional soutane and saturno. He was raising money for the Sussex Beacon charity, which provides specialist care and support for people living with HIV. In June Mr Marinhos, who originates from Columbia, carried out another of Blondin's stunts by walking along the high wire and cooking himself an omelette halfway across.