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50k in a Day

by Michael Ford last modified 16 Jul, 2021 05:46 PM

A Wiltshire clergyman plans to walk 50 kilometres - 31 miles, five more than a marathon - in one day, to raise funds for his churches and to help the victims of a brutal but often ignored conflict.

The Revd Gerry Lynch, Curate of St John with St Mary Devizes, will attempt his whopping 50-kilometre sponsored walk on 20th July to help cover the income his parish lost during lockdowns, as well as for colleagues in the frontline of caring for those fleeing an ISIS insurgency in Mozambique.

Gerry said:

“Like many organisations, St John with St Mary lost several income streams during the pandemic, with potential consequences for what we can offer to the people of the town if we can’t fill the hole.

“But others have things more difficult than we do. My friend Manuel is the bishop of a city named Nampula just outside the area of the ISIS insurgency in northern Mozambique. This city of 750,000, already home to a UN camp for 17,000 refugees from other countries, is now struggling to provide food, clean water, and shelter for half a million fellow Mozambicans who fled their homes in terror. Many, including children, have witnessed traumatic events and mental healthcare is also urgent.

“I thought I could raise some money both for our needs in Devizes and for friends in another part of the world dealing with a situation we can scarcely imagine.

“I have a BMI over 30 and a 25 1/2 inch inside leg, so my build is not what anyone would call athletic. Still, long countryside walks were basically what kept me sane during the lockdowns and my endurance has gone through the roof.

“When I first considered a sponsored walk, I thought I’d walk a marathon distance. Unfortunately I did a 43.4 km walk a few weeks ago and posted it on social media, and people worked out it was more than a marathon! So I’m going to have to go the extra five miles for a full 50k in one day – just over 31 miles for those who prefer old money.

“People can support me at or by making out a cheque to PCC St John, sending it to the parish office on Long Street, Devizes, SN10 1NP, and marking it ‘50k in a Day’. Your generous gift will go straight to where it will make a difference.”

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