Cycling fundraisers to rely on goodwill and handouts on 100 mile ‘Poverty Pilgrimage’ around east Kent

With no money, and reliant on handouts and good will for food and shelter, Together Canterbury Officer Keith Berry and former Canterbury Diocesan Secretary David Kemp, will cycle 100 miles in four days from Tuesday 9th June to Friday 12th June to raise awareness and funds for the work of Church Urban Fund, the Church of England’s charity working to alleviate poverty in the UK. It works directly in Kent through a joint venture with the Diocese of Canterbury called Together Canterbury.

Their journey will begin at Murston Community Bank and Hub in All Saint’s Church, Murston in Sittingbourne, and will finish at the launch of the new Tenterden Savers Community Hub at St. Mildred’s Church in Tenterden; the third such initiative in the diocese which combines a credit union and other community services in a single church location.

Throughout their pilgrimage, Keith and David will visit various projects and communities along the way, with each stop highlighting a different aspect of poverty to be found in the diocese; financial, social, disaffection of young people, isolation of the elderly, rural poverty.

Some of the projects they will visit include; the recently opened Whitstable Christians Against Poverty Debt Centre which is supported by 12 churches in Whitstable; Holy Trinity Church in Margate, a busy community focused church, where they will meet with those involved with the COG Dementia group; theAspire team at Global Generation Church in Margate, whose course provides young people with opportunities to get involved with their community and raise their own aspirations at the same time; the Rainbow Centre in Folkestone, a multi-denominational project which provides a Crisis Drop-in service supporting homeless people and those facing eviction; and St. Nicholas Church in New Romney which runs initiatives to support those facing difficulty in a rural environment.

Together Canterbury officer Keith Berry said:

“As well as trying to highlight something of the complex nature of poverty in this area, we also want this cycle ride to celebrate the many wonderful church and community-based projects which are happening all over the diocese, and shine a light on the numerous people, often volunteers, who are committed to helping those who are living in urgent and desperate need in the diocese.”

A Justgiving page has been set up offering more information about the pilgrimage and to accept donations: https://www.justgiving.com/povertypilgrimage People can also show their support by tweeting a message to #onyerbike. It will also be possible to follow progress of the cycle ride via the Together Canterbury Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/togethercanterbury

ENDS

For more information and to arrange photographers or interviews please contact Jennifer Ross on 01227 459 401 / 07765 112 177 / jross@diocant.org

Notes to Editors

Picture shows: Keith Berry (left) and David Kemp (right) with their bikes preparing for the Poverty Pilgrimage.

  • The ‘Poverty Pilgrimage’ will begin at 10am on Tuesday 9th June outside All Saint’s Church in Murston, the home of Murston Community Bank and Hub, Kent’s first community bank to be held in a church.
  • For details of the route and full list of scheduled stops, please see the attached document: Poverty Pilgrimage schedule. There will be a photo opportunity available at each location and press photographers or journalists are welcome to attend.
  • Together Canterbury was launched in March 2014 as part of a growing network of joint ventures between the Church Urban Fund and Anglican dioceses across the country. With its two Development Officers, the aim of the partnership is to provide long-term sustainable support to Christians working to tackle poverty in some of the most deprived areas of east Kent by identify areas of need, working on a one-to-one basis with church and community groups around the diocese to help initiate projects, and support existing ones tackling poverty and disadvantage.
  • The Church Urban Fund is the Church of England’s response to poverty in the UK, working in partnership with Christians who feel called to put their faith into action. They bring the Church together to support Christians called to work with the poorest and most marginalised in England, transforming lives. Each year the Church Urban Fund supports over 300 church and Christian projects tackling poverty. For more information visit: http://www.cuf.org.uk/
  • The sponsored cycle will be completed a week before the Church Urban Fund’s annual awareness and fundraising event, Poverty Sunday which takes place on Sunday 21st June. The initiative provides people with the opportunity to reflect, pray and act on the reality and personal consequences of poverty: https://www.cuf.org.uk/Appeal/poverty-sunday
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