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Fr Darren 1 sFr Darren 2 sFor three days in January, Fr Darren Reid and his brother-in-law, Simon Gannon, cycled from the West Coast to the East Coast of England. 

They started on Monday, 15 January at the waterfront in Liverpool, and arrived at the Cleethorpes Promenade in the late afternoon of Saturday, 17 January, where they thoroughly enjoyed a  traditional seaside fish and chips.  The reason for this slightly crazy adventure was to help raise funds for the St Wilfrid’s Centre Residential Project.  The Centre seeks to raise £1.8million.

Fr Darren tells us: “I very simply wish to say a big thank you to the many people from around the diocese and beyond who have sponsored us and supported us in this adventure. Thank you also to those who said prayers that we would remain safe; your prayers were answered.

“On our first day we set out from the waterfront at Liverpool.  It was very cold but not raining.  We rode beside the River Mersey and headed towards Manchester.

Fr Darren 4 s“Late afternoon was spent crossing the south of Manchester.  As we reached the town of Hyde it was getting dark, and so we stopped for the night.  A bed was provided by the St Luke’s Centre in Manchester, who looked after us with great kindness.

“Day two was our toughest day.  On leaving Hyde we travelled through GlossopFr Darren 5 s and began to climb up the Snake Pass.  About half way up the snow began to fall, and then came the fog.

“But the ride down past Ladybower Reservoir and later on riding into Sheffield via Crosspool was exhilarating.

Fr Darren 7 s“A moment of real joy came when Simon and I rode into the St Wilfrid’s Centre car park.  To be greeted by the smiles and cheers of the clients and staff of St Wilfrid’s was wonderful, and the soup they gave us tasted so good!

“From Sheffield we continued on through Rotherham, before ending our second day in Tickhill.

Fr Darren 9 s“Our final day was a pleasure.  We left Tickhill and travelled along the quiet lanes of Lincolnshire through Gainsborough and Caister, before eventually arriving at Cleethorpes.  To see the sea was sheer joy!

“Simon the expert cyclist did the real hard work in terms of preparation, and bike maintenance.  Katie drove the support car, and Mark allowed me to borrow his fantastic bike.  To these and to all of you who sponsored me a big thank you!”

Fr Darren 10 s

It is still possible to sponsor Fr Darren, by visiting the Coast to Coast Challenge website: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/coasttocoast7.