David Paton-Williams, vicar of St Edmund’s Roundhay, and new interim Area Dean of Allerton Deanery, will be cycling to all 20 churches in the deanery on Saturday 12 September as part of The Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust’s Ride & Stride day.
He’ll raise money for both The Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust and for a reflective garden and labyrinth which St Edmund's are planning to create in their grounds.
David says, “I’m a non-cyclist so it’ll be something of a challenge for me to cycle 24 miles - from St Edmund's to the city centre and back out as far as East Keswick. I plan to stop and pray at each church.
“For Ride & Stride, people are invited to walk or ride (or they can even drive - Nick our Lay Chair is using the bus) to the churches that are open. 12 in our deanery are open, some offering refreshments.
“The half of the money which will stay with St Edmund's will be going towards creating a reflective garden and labyrinth in the grounds, which will enable people to sit, reflect, pray and enjoy nature. I recently had a sabbatical looking at the theology and spirituality of creation, which strengthened my awareness of how important creation is for people, and this is one way in which we can take our faith outside the walls of our church, but in an inclusive way.
“We’re also going to create a Peace Room in our church hall. Hundreds of people use the hall each week and we have a little room by the door that we are going to turn into a place for stillness, reflection, prayer, prayer requests etc. Again it’s a way of trying to engage those around us who don't or can't access church."
To sponsor David, contact him at d.patonwilliams [at] gmail.com or on 0113 2664532.
Vanessa White from the Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust says, “Ride & Stride is a fantastic opportunity to raise funds for your local church, as well as contribute to the work of the YHCT. It is also a great chance to explore some of our regions’ most beautiful churches, discovering hidden treasures and uncovering some of the stories behind the buildings.”