Pedal round the pulpits
Cyclists across England will be joining forces in August to rescue some of Britain’s most picturesque churches.
Pedal Round the Pulpits will see cyclists of every ability and generation cycle through areas of great beauty to raise money for CCT.
All three cycle events (August 15th, 19th and 24th) will be headed up and accompanied by volunteer Andy White who pedalled nearly 700 miles around the pulpits in 2011 to raise £1,200 for the Trust.
Partakers will get the chance to explore up to 12 of the impressive CCT historic buildings which have been included en route along the three suggested cycling routes in breath-taking Norwich, Bury St Edmunds and Diss. Pedal Around the Pulpit events take place as follows:
Those who feel slightly intimidated by long-distance cycling might feel comforted to know that Andy is no stranger to difficulty. Having completed his service in the 1990/91 Gulf War, Andy began to feel his life unravelling upon his return. He had worked solidly for 17 hours a day, with only one day off throughout, and the stress and turmoil had impacted on his mental health. He experienced the de-stabilising effects of Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, now widely recognised as a common symptom in the aftermath of military service. His symptoms included panic attacks, nightmares, flashbacks, mood swings, depression and black outs.
Having turned originally to alcohol as a crutch, Andy sought help from numerous organisations and charities who, despite their best efforts, couldn’t give him quite the right kind of support. All this changed, however, when Andy paid a visit to St Peter’s Church in Claydon near Ipswich, which is cared for by the CCT. Here he found that the building’s extravagant stained glass and carvings provided the tranquil environment he needed. And in befriending the key holders that look after the church, Andy also found a community of people who could help draw him out of his depression and feel part of the world again.
Always a keen cyclist, Andy got involved in fundraising for the CCT when he participated in the Historic Churches Cycle ride and the 2009 Maldon Mud Race. His involvement in Pedal Round the Pulpits this year is indicative of Andy’s drive, determination and desire to raise money for the Trust’s work. The Trust helped to save Andy, perhaps one day it might save someone else too.
If you agree that Andy’s story is one of an ordinary man achieving extraordinary things with a little human drive then join him on one of the three dates specified and see if you can raise some money for CCT, as well as give your legs a stretch!