Cycling the length of Great Britain
A member of a Baptist church north Wales is cycling from Land’s End to John O’ Groats, to raise £25,000 for Tearfund’s relief work across the Middle East
John Mainwaring of Bethania Baptist Church, Leeswood, Mold, set out on the 950 mile trip last Tuesday (6 June). He hopes to finish on 17 June.
Moved by the plight of refugees across the war torn parts of the Middle East, John, a cyclist from Llanarmon yn Ial, is accompanied by friend, Trevor Stephenson from Chester in fundraising for the Christian relief and development agency. Another friend, the Revd John Richards, minister of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Mold, joined on day six for the second stage of the ride.
All funds raised will support Tearfund's work supporting refugees from Syria and Iraq, John explained. The charity follows Jesus to the places of greatest need to respond to disasters and help communities to overcome poverty. Across the Middle East, millions of people are suffering. In Syria and Iraq millions have fled their homes to escape the terrifying brutality of Islamic State (IS) militants. Despite security risks, Tearfund is at work on the ground supporting families who urgently need access to safe water, shelter and vital essentials.
'Every £32 we raise can provide two families with hygiene kits, providing essentials such as soap, washing up liquid, shampoo and toothpaste for two months,' said John. 'And every £80 can provide a whole community with a water tank, giving a continuous supply of safe water and keeping families safe from the spread of water-borne disease.
'My target is to raise £25,000, enough to provide hygiene kits for 135 families for a year as well as 150 community water tanks.'
John has been gathering sponsorship for the past few weeks. The ride is self-funded so everything raised goes to Tearfund. In a symbol of solidarity with Middle Eastern refugees, the ride will be helped on its way, with three overnight stops with church groups in England (Keynsham), Wales (Llandrindod Wells) and Scotland (Inverness).
John has been posting images and updates on the team’s progress during the ride on Facebook as it unfolds.
People wishing to make a donation can do so by visiting the ride’s JustGiving page.