Five keen cyclists from St Patrick’s Parish, Jordanstown, will join with five others from Whiteabbey Presbyterian on a 70-mile cycle to mark the 70th anniversary of Christian Aid.
The riders will set off from Jordanstown at dawn on at the start of Christian Aid Week on Sunday May 10, making their way through Carrick and Larne, along the Antrim coast road to Carnlough. They will then head inland to Broughshane where they will stop off for refreshments before getting back on their bikes and riding towards Doagh and then back to Jordanstown. Their aim is to be back in time for the 11am services at St Patrick’s and Whiteabbey Presbyterian.
“It’s all about raising awareness of Christian Aid Week and encouraging people to donate when the Christian Aid envelope comes through their door,” explained cycle challenge organiser Alex McClenaghan.
She said that the idea behind the dawn start is to “create a bit of empathy with people who have to get up very early every day and do something that’s a struggle – walking miles just to collect firewood or water – just to survive.”
The Rev Jonny Campbell-Smyth, Curate Assistant at St Patrick’s Church, is among those taking part in the cycle. As well as the physical challenge Jonny also faces the added pressure of having to complete the 70-mile route in time to preach at the morning service.
He said: “I think my body will make it back in time for the service; I’m not sure whether my mind will. But thank the Lord that we write sermons earlier on in the week so all I should have to do is say what’s on the sheet and worry about my legs at some later stage.”
Stressing the importance of the work of Christian Aid, Jonny added: “I’m looking forward to the two churches coming together and working together on something that is really, really important and can make a real difference to so many people’s lives. It shows that the churches can be united and that Christians can get together and act in situations of need.”
The riders are hoping to raise as much money as possible for the charity. And the fundraising will continue after the morning services on May 10 with a bread and cheese lunch at Whiteabbey Presbyterian.
Anyone who would like to support the cyclists in their fundraising effort can do so by donating online at www.justgiving.com/70-miles-to-Church
Following the devastating earthquake in Nepal on April 25, the cycle organisers have decided that all donations received via the justgiving page will go to Christian Aid’s Nepal Earthquake Appeal.
For more information about Christian Aid Week log on to www.caweek.org
Full story and a video featuring the Rev Jonny Campbell-Smyth is available on the Newtownabbey Times website.