Diocesan Secretary gets on his bike for Christian Aid

by Michael Ford last modified 16 May, 2019 01:03 PM

To mark the beginning of Christian Aid Week this year, our Diocesan Secretary will get on his bike and, accompanied by our Diocesan Director of Ordinands and Chair of Safeguarding, will cycle between Salisbury and Winchester Cathedrals and back - and all before breakfast!

David Pain, who spoke of his love of cycling in his first interview as Diocesan Secretary back in January, will be joined by fellow cyclists Nigel Done and Steve Long on the 54 mile ride which mirrors David's journey to and from work, which he normally does by car.

Meanwhile, Nigel Done will cycle from his home in Gillingham to Winchester Cathedral and back again to join his fellow cyclists from across the region who are invited to pedal against poverty in the launch of Christian Aid Week (12-18 May).

Update: They did it!

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Cyclists can take part in sponsored rides from their homes to the Cathedral and enjoy a Big Brekkie in the Refectory (9.30-10.45am) before joining in a mass cycling loop as a Chain of Solidarity around the Cathedral at 11am calling for Sierra Leone’s debts accrued to tackle Ebola to be dropped.

David said:
"At Winchester there is a 'Big Brekkie' event before joining in a mass cycling loop as a Chain of Solidarity around the cathedral at 11am calling for Sierra Leone’s debts accrued to tackle Ebola to be dropped."

Christian Aid Week this year is highlighting the healthcare crisis in Sierra Leone, where ten mums a day die giving birth and where one in ten health workers were killed by the world’s worst Ebola outbreak (2014-2016).

Repayments of international debts taken out to tackle Ebola are now hampering the country’s ability to rebuild its desperately inadequate healthcare services and cyclists of all ages are invited to take part, ringing their bells and adding their voices to calls on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to ‘Drop the Ebola Debt’.

Before joining the Diocese in January, David was one of the Directors at Christian Aid. He led the team which works with supporters and churches across Britain and is responsible for Christian Aid’s fundraising, communications and advocacy campaigns.

He added:
"It’s 27 miles each way, and we would be very grateful for your support in raising funds for this great cause by donating directly."

Nigel, who moved to Gillingham to take up his job as Diocesan Director of Ordinands in Salisbury and regularly cycles the 27 miles to work, said:

"I’m looking forward to going the distance to Winchester and back in support of Christian Aid. The Ebola crisis was a personal tragedy for so many people, it was prevented from becoming a global tragedy by those who tackled it.

"Food and cycling brings people together, which is fitting because that is what Christian Aid does. It enables us to reach out in solidarity to people across the world who are trapped in desperate poverty.

"I am looking forward to taking part in a visual and resounding display of that solidarity at Winchester Cathedral – do come and join us!"

Last year Christian Aid groups and churches across Dorset raised £106,028 for Christian Aid Week. As well as the Big Bike to Brekkie and Chain of Solidarity, churches in the region will this year be organising door-to-door collections, hosting other Big Brekkies and holding a range of fundraising activities.

Sierra Leone is the most dangerous country in the world to give birth in. If there is no clinic in their village, pregnant women in rural areas can wait up to eight hours before an ambulance arrives. Others travel to hospital on the back of a hired motorbike, but the poorest have no choice but to walk for hours on foot. Many women and babies do not survive the journey, particularly in the hunger months from May to December when food is scarce.

Christian Aid is helping remote communities come together to build health clinics as well as training nurses to provide urgent care in communities and improving hygiene, so mothers and babies are more likely to fight off diseases.

Fiona Daborn, Christian Aid’s Dorset coordinator said: "Christian Aid Week is an amazing celebration to change the world, through generosity, solidarity and action.

"We are grateful to Winchester Cathedral for sharing our vision and opening their doors. Anyone of any age and cycling ability can take part, even from as far away as Gillingham.

"Sometimes the problems faced by communities living in poverty can seem overwhelming, but when we come together, the almighty power of people makes this a world in which dignity, equality and justice is experienced by everyone – and it can be fun at the same time!"

To find out how to get involved in Christian Aid Week or to donate, visit caweek.org or call 08080 006 006, or text ‘GIVE’ to 70040 to give £5.* Donations will support communities such as those featured and wherever the need is greatest.

* JustGiving sends your donation straight to Christian Aid and automatically reclaims Gift Aid if you are a UK taxpayer, so your donation is worth even more.

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