Pedal power raises funds for life-saving equipmentSaturday 13th August 2022
A parish priest with a passion for cycling undertook a daunting challenge to raise money for a lifesaving piece of equipment.
Father Richard Howard braved the pouring rain on a mammoth 214km bike ride on July 31st to raise funds to buy a defibrillator for his parish of St Mary’s in Horwich.
Accompanied by friend and former elite-level cyclist Simon Appleton, Fr Richard set off on a spectacular route across Lancashire, taking in beautiful views of the Trough of Bowland, Morecambe Bay, and even the South Lakes.
He said: “It was raining heavily when we set off, so it wasn’t the best of starts but I did it with another cyclist, which was a big help.
“When you’re cycling with a person in front, it makes a real difference. Simon told me you can expend 40% less energy cycling with another person. I certainly couldn’t have done it as easily without him.
“My dad also followed us along the route with refreshments, and another parishioner and his son drove and met us along the way, so we never felt isolated.”
The 10-hour cycle began at Fr Richard’s home parish of St Mary’s in Horwich, before heading up to Milnthorpe, via Walton-le-Dale, Longridge, Dunsop Bridge, Quernmore, and Hornby, before returning to the parish via Carnforth, Lancaster, Preston, and Standish.
So far, Fr Richard and his team have raised an amazing total of more than £3,000 and counting for his parish, enabling them to buy a defibrillator and various liturgical items that the Parish needs.
Fr Richard said: “The request [for the defibrillator] came from a group of parishioners. They had been talking about it and pointed out that a lot of older groups of people use the parish hall on a regular basis, so they thought it would be an asset to have one there. And you never know, it might save someone’s life.”
This isn’t the first time Fr Richard has embarked on a challenge to raise funds for our Catholic faith community, having taken on a sponsored triathlon for Aid to the Church in Need in 2019.
Once again, the support of his parish community has been outstanding, with an overwhelmingly supportive and generous response from all.
He said: “The support has been great – it’s a been a delight how the parishioners have been. They’ve been really generous and so supportive of me doing it.
“Having the support of the parish is massive – it’s everything because if I didn’t have it, I would be left scratching my head!
“I would like to say a huge thank you to the parish of St Mary’s and other friends, family, and supporters who got behind it.”
If anyone would like to sponsor Fr Richard it’s not too late. Simply contact St Mary’s Parish at: email@example.com