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A Mammoth Fundraising Feat *Updated

by Michael Ford last modified 19 Sep, 2014 03:37 PM

A local clergyman will be pulling out all the stops on Saturday 6 September to raise money for two charities, as he cycles the 280 miles from London to Paris in under 24 hours.

Reverend Joe Edwards from St Mary’s Church in Blandford will be cycling the mammoth distance as part of Action Challenge’s London to Paris 24 event and will be raising funds for Dorset Historic Churches Trust (DHCT) and Rwanda Cricket Stadium Foundation.

Joe will join 150 riders on the start line at The O2 in London and will cycle through Kent to Dover, where the group will catch the ferry to Calais. Upon arrival in France, he will cycle by night through small towns and the major cathedral cities of Amiens and Beauvais into Paris, past the Arc de Triomphe, down the Champs Elysée and finish near the Eiffel Tower on Sunday morning (7 September).

Joe’s cycling feat will take place exactly a week before DHCT’s annual Ride+Stride fundraising event, which will be between 10am and 6pm on Saturday 13th September. He has been cycling six times a week in preparation for the trip, covering distances of 200 and 300 miles at weekends to ensure he is ready for the challenge.

He said: “I am really looking forward to the ride to Paris. I would like to say a big thank you to all the people who have supported me and donated to these two fantastic causes – their support will help me no end when I get to the tough final leg of the journey. I hope my adventure will encourage other people to get pedalling for their parishes during next month’s Ride+Stride event. This event offers people the chance to explore some of the beautiful, ancient churches we have in Dorset in a way that also helps us to keep fit!”

Simon Pomeroy, Chairman of DHCT, added: “What an inspiration to all our Riders and Striders looking to raise money for their parishes in September! We wish Joe all the best on his journey and would like to thank him for this outstanding effort.”  On 13th September, Joe will be overseeing children from a school in his parish who will be riding in support of Spetisbury and Blandford St Mary churches. 

For more information about London to Paris 24, visit
To make an online donation to Reverend Edwards, visit 
DHCT website: 

Update: 11 September 2014

"I completed the ride in a total time of 24 hours and 1 minute.  Despite flying through Paris as tho' on the Tour, clocking 30 mph on the Champs Elysees, I couldn't quite get under the 24 hour mark.  The daylight weather was just about ideal: bright but not too hot and almost windless; however the night was pretty grim as northern France was covered by a thick (5 metre) fog which was damp and dispiriting to ride through. Arrival under the Eiffel Tower as a pretty special moment.

"Many thanks for all your support, the total raised currently stands at just over £3,000.  If you would like to donate, the Just Giving page  ( ) will be open for another few weeks."


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