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Going the extra mile!

by ajack last modified 03 Nov, 2021 03:54 PM

As if it wasn’t enough being involved in the fantastic work of the Salisbury Mothers’ Union, The Revd Jo Naish, Team Vicar in the Nadder Valley, Wiltshire and Rosie Stiven, Diocesan MU President, decided to go the extra mile(s)!

Between 3rd and 20th October, Jo took part in an epic cycle ride as part of her pilgrimage to Iona and cycled 700 miles for over 90 hours and climbed over 30,000 feet. 

While Rosie Stiven has been doing the same, but on foot. She has managed more than an amazing 900 miles in dedicated walks so far this year …  having walked in Scotland, Shropshire, all over the Plain and much more.  

Why? To raise money and awareness of the work of the Mothers' Union.  

Jo’s  “Tisbury to Iona”  ride and Rosie Stiven’s  “1000 Miles on Foot” became a way to highlight the work of the Mothers’ Union". The charity not only provide holidays for families and key workers in Poole. They help prisoners send presents to their children and families. They support the women's refuge in Salisbury with all sorts of goods and donations and provide baby bundles for the baby unit in the hospital. And in the Virtual baby project, they help many young people with parenting and child care skills with our specially programmable computer babies. 

Jo said: 

“When I decided to join the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Iona, back in 2019 we had not heard of Covid. And when the pilgrimage moved to 2021, I was still keen to go, but not happy using planes to get there. It seemed good to try to reach Iona as former pilgrims did – under my own steam; taking time on the journey to reflect on the way of the Celtic Saints and to challenge myself. The route we put together aimed to visit St Cuthbert’s Shrine in Durham, Holy Island (although in the end the weather defeated this) and then went through the Highlands, using some of the old ‘Kings Route” whereby Scottish Kings were taken after death to burial on Iona. Fabulous hospitality was provided on route by members of the MU, fellow clergy and chaplains, family and friends.  

“As Chaplain to the Mothers’ Union, I knew that our local projects which help families are really effective: supporting prisoners and helping them send gifts to their children, offering free holidays to families in need at our caravan in Rockley Park, Poole, working with teenagers on parenting, with the Virtual Baby Project, and of course our support for the Baby Unit and the Salisbury Women’s refuge. But without social gatherings in Covid, income was dwindling. So Rosie Stiven, our Diocesan President and I decided that the ride could be a part of fundraising – where we encouraged everyone to get more active and to find different ways to raise the money we needed. Different branches have all supported the “Go the Extra Mile campaign” in many ways – some walking to church, some on individual projects and many supporting Rosie and myself as we embarked on more of a marathon.  

 “Yes nearly 700 miles by bike was hard – but only at times. Yes it rained quite a lot and yes, both the bike and I needed minor attention – but not nearly as much as I had expected! But – I’ve received such kindness from so many people, been fed by many more, supported in prayer throughout. I’ve seen birds in multitudes, including eagles and hen harriers, waders and choughs, and all kinds of wildlife. I’ve cycled through cities and fields, mountains and seashore and I feel very blessed indeed to have had the privilege and the time to do so. And finally was able to spend time in fellowship with pilgrims on Iona.  What is even more humbling is that through people’s generosity, we look as if we will reach nearly £6,000 by the time all the money is collected – what a boost for families in need in the Diocese!” 

If you word like to donate, visit Jo and Rosies Justgiving page here.

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