Setting off from Bethany home, Plymouth

Sunday at the Bethany home in Plymouth saw Stephen and Philip Hammersley set off on their sponsored cycling marathon to clapping and cheers from staff and residents.  It didn’t promise to be an easy ride – anyone familiar with that part of the country knows about the hills!  And nine hours later,  arriving at their first stop, in Taunton they’d covered 85 miles, including hills which amounted to the equivalent of two Snowdons, according to Stephen.   Apart from the hills, the ride went pretty smoothly.  

They will be cycling 357 miles through five counties, visiting our homes, chatting with residents and staff, and taking a daily service in each one.

Stephen’s training for the marathon included cycling home at the end of the day from our offices at Tower Bridge Road, London, a three and a half hour trip.  Much of the route was along a tow path where he was would be chased by Canada Geese and threatened by a couple of alsatian dogs living on a barje.

So far they haven’t been leapt at by dogs, although Philip did have a little contretemps with a hedge.  Do pray for safety and for God-speed:  and for donations that will help us boost our ‘Lonely No Longer’ campaign.    Also, do pray with us for their safety and success! The Marathon is to raise funds for our campaign to help churches combat loneliness in the community.   You can help too, by donating at this…/stephenandphiliphammersley1

With wheel shaped biscuits

Before leaving Bethany, Stephen took the morning service, showing a small bottle of water he was carrying and speaking about  Jesus’ first miracle, when at a wedding in Cana  (John 2: 1-12) He turned the water into wine and saved the host from the social disgrace of running out of wine.  Before they left, he and Philip were given biscuits baked in the shape of a bicycle wheel.  And resident Jenny blessed everyone with a heart-felt prayer for their venture.

Some staff and residents and Jenny, wearing the sun hat, ready to wave Stephen and Philip off.

Louise Morse

Louise Morse MA (CBT) is media and external relations manager for the Pilgrims’ Friend Society. She is a writer and speaker, and author of books on issues of old age, including dementia, published by Lion Monarch and SPCK. She is a cognitive behavioural therapist, and her Masters’ dissertation examined the effects of caring for a loved one with dementia on close relatives.

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