Father and Son cycle across the world for Christian Aid!

Geoff and Will Sherwood from St Luke's Church, Parkstone, are setting off in May on a 3,700-mile ‘reverse pilgrimage’ from Cyprus to Canterbury, in support of Christian Aid. The determined cyclists are taking on a mammoth challenge to help people recovering from the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

Geoff explains: “We’re starting in Paphos and we’ll be cycling back via Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Italy, Switzerland and France.

We’ll be in Turkey for around three weeks, visiting many places preached at, or passed through, by St Paul on his three missionary journeys. This includes an area which is very close to those impacted by the earthquakes last year.

Because of this, we thought it would be appropriate to use our journey to raise money to assist the continuing support for those affected by the disaster.”

One year on, Christian Aid says some two million people still need help, having lost their homes and suffered through severe flooding and winter conditions.

Geoff said their inspiration came from a former Bishop of Ramsbury, Edward Condry, who cycled the 'Via Francigena' from Canterbury to Rome in 2017.

He added: “This route follows the documented journey made by another former Bishop of Ramsbury, Sigeric, who visited Rome after his promotion to Archbishop in 990AD.

“The 'Via Francigena' actually extends south towards the heel of Italy, the start of a longer route which historically took pilgrims to and from The Holy Land. Noticing place names familiar from 'The Acts of the Apostles', we decided to hang our route on St Paul's missionary journeys. Paul's first stop on his first journey was Cyprus, which we chose to be the start point for our own trip.

“I love cycling as a way to see other countries in more detail, at a leisurely pace, taking in the culture and the ever-changing landscapes. We’ll be self-sufficient, carrying a lightweight tent, sleeping bags, bike tools and spare parts etc, plus Will is a doctor, so he’ll be putting together the First Aid kit!

“We plan to cover "only" 60 miles per day, on average. It may sound a lot, but having built up over the last few years to be able to cover up to 100 miles, 60 is not so daunting, although keeping to a sedate pace is key to being able to repeat the feat every day for two months.”

To support the pair in their challenge please visit their JustGiving page

Powered by Church Edit