IT is not unusual to see a member of the clergy out tending to the needs of their flock.

But Rev Monika Redman has announced plans to try to become the first female Kirk minister to trek to Machu Picchu in Peru to raise money for charity and is familiarising herself with local Peruvian wildlife – a herd of Alpacas.

The 48-year-old is fulfilling a childhood dream by hiking through the clouds to raise at least £3,775 for Blythswood Care, which runs a Christmas Shoebox Appeal to support vulnerable people in Europe, Africa and Asia.

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The leader of St Leonard’s Church in Dunfermline will scale the 3,000 steps to the Temple of the Sun.

Mrs Redman announced her plans at BobCat Alpacas farm near Bonaly on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

Armed with a Shepherds crook, backpack and hiking boots, the adventurer mingled with and fed the 20-strong herd.

The minister, who took 18-month old Apollo and Balthazar for a stroll in the Pentland Hills, joked that she was considering taking a pair of Alpacas home with her because they would make “ideal lawnmowers” for the manse garden.

Mrs Redman said: “Meeting the alpacas and taking them for a walk was a lot of fun and helped build anticipation for the trek which has been billed as ‘tough’.”

The 10-day trip in October, which involves five days of trekking and sleeping under canvas, is being organised by the Christian charity, which is based in Evanton in Easter Ross.

Margaret Tooth, a fundraising manager with Blythswood Care, said: “The charity may be best known for its annual Shoe Box Appeal but is committed to supporting Christian partners in Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia all year round, funding humanitarian aid and social care projects and bringing hope to thousands.”