Never mind the Hairy Bikers – meet the Holy Bikers!
Two Church of Ireland clergymen are stepping out of their pulpits and revving up the horsepower for a 10 day charity bike run around Ireland.
The Rev Nigel Kirkpatrick and the Rev Andrew McCroskery will don both helmets and dog collars as they set out on an epic ride to every cathedral in the Church of Ireland in aid of the work of the United Society (formerly USPG).
From August 1–10 Nigel, rector of Gilnahirk in Belfast, and Andrew, rector of St Bartholomew’s and Christ Church Leeson Park in Dublin, will bike it to all 30 Church of Ireland cathedrals, from Lisburn to Limerick and from Clogher to Cork!
At each cathedral, Nigel and Andrew will join or lead a short service with prayers for the United Society and particularly their work in Swaziland.
A Service of Holy Communion in St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast, at 10am on Friday August 1 will launch the bikers’ epic journey and Andrew and Nigel are encouraging other motorcycling enthusiasts to join them, even for a short distance, along the route and make a donation to the United Society as they do so.
Their 1500 mile ride zig–zags across the whole island and concludes back at St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast at 3.30pm on Sunday August 10.
Nigel explained why the two rectors felt inspired to organise this innovative fundraising challenge for the United Society.
“We’re both passionate about motorcycling and also about the work of the United Society among the people of Swaziland, one of the poorest countries in the world with the highest rate of HIV infection per capita.
“In this 300th anniversary year of the United Society, we felt that riding motorbikes across the country, visiting every cathedral would be a novel way to honour their work, highlight the very crucial projects in Swaziland and raise some money.
“An added bonus is that we will be drawing attention to ancient ecclesiastical places in Ireland that many people will not have heard of. Plus we get to ride motorbikes for ten days!”
Donations can be sent to Linda Chambers, Egan House, St Michan’s Church, Church Street, Dublin 7, or through the donate button on Linda’s United Society blog: lindaatuspg.blogspot.ie