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Cycling for St Nicholas, Willoughby
28/09/17

With the village church of St Nicholas in Willoughby fallen into a poor state of repair with urgent work needed, churchwarden, Karen Nicols, decided that something must be done. As an avid cyclist she decided to set herself a challenge to cycle from Land’s End to John O Groats with a team of fellow cyclists to fundraise for the church. Below Karen recounts her journey.

Cycling from Lands’ End to John O Groats was an idea to raise funds for our lovely church. All expenses were paid for by myself so the money raised could go straight to the cause.

To get from Land’s End to John O Groats it took 14 days of cycling. Ten days we cycled over 70 miles and two days over 80. Overall we cycled 1011 miles. Mother Nature treated us to a rainy start but then there were sunny days, then wind and more rain and even sleet up in the Highlands. Resolve was needed some days to push ourselves on, some suffered sores, all of us had aching bodies but there were no thoughts of quitting, We grew as a team encouraging each other.

The thought of our church kept me going, growing stronger as we cycled further north. Cycling the length of our glorious country we experienced hills, more hills and even steep hills. In addition, breath-taking scenery, beautiful countryside towns and villages and the many diverse people we met on our travels. We saw farmland with farmers rushing to gather in the harvest, bee hives in the heather, sheep, cattle, wild animals and birds. Cycling is the ideal way to see and experience all.  The churches we passed varied greatly in style and build.

The cycle ride was incredibly tough and once I returned home exhaustion set in. However, I am determined in my resolve to get St Nicholas Church, Willoughby repaired. The whole village has been getting involved and have been very generous in fundraising. To date £1400 has been raised for the fund and some more to follow. We have a meeting planned to develop further ideas and in this period of interregnum and uncertainty it is important to keep lines of communication open.