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Local Christians raising funds in the face of COVID-19

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Helena’s 300,000 steps to challenge poverty worldwide

70-year-old Wells-next-the Sea hero Helena Arguile has set herself a challenge of walking 300,000 steps in May to make a difference to some of the poorest people on the planet. Many of these steps will be taken inside her house! Helena has bought a pedometer to measure each step. She helps to organise Christian Aid Week every year in May but now, because of the coronavirus, the events that were planned have had to be postponed. The Churchwarden from St Nicholas Church has already raised over £600.

Helena says, “We all know the whole world is affected by this pandemic, but as always, the poorest and the charities which support them will suffer the most. Our group had already arranged various things for Christian Aid Week but now have to postpone them. However, I reckoned I could do this 300,000 Step Challenge as my permitted daily exercise …and if I can’t fit them all into that, I can always run up and down the stairs!”

Julian Bryant, Norfolk’s Christian Aid Church Engagement worker said, “Helena is a bright light in these challenging times. She does not think so much of what she is unable to do, but she looks at what she is able to do for others.  Please consider sponsoring her or perhaps even do something similar yourself!”

You can give to Helena’s appeal here.

Find out about the 300,00 steps appeal and what you can do here.


Laps of honour for Help for Heroes and Christian Aid

The vicar of St Mary’s Church in Attleborough, the Revd Matthew Jackson and his wife Emma are going to walk a marathon around their rectory garden on Friday 8 May, the VE Day 75th Anniversary, to raise money for Help for Heroes and Christian Aid.

Matthew says, “How do you exercise during the lockdown? At the Rectory we’ve spurned the suggestion that we can go out for one period of exercise a day and taken to walking laps around the garden instead. Ten laps of the garden is roughly one mile according to the tracker on my phone so we make sure that we do our daily mile at least once a day.

“One of the many consequences of the current lockdown is that the events planned to mark 75th Anniversary of VE Day have been cancelled. We’ve been pondering this as we do our walk around the garden, particularly as once each lap we catch sight of the peace memorial which stands at the junction of Connaught Road and Station Road. The peace memorial is one of only a few Crimean War monuments in Britain, commemorating the peace of 1856.

“As we continue on our lap we catch sight of St Mary’s Attleborough which reminds us of the great need to help our neighbours around the world, particularly in this time of crisis.

“We’ve decided to raise money for Christian Aid and Help for Heroes to commemorate the heroes of past and present wars as well as helping victims of war, poverty and injustice around the world. So we’ve decided to walk the distance of a marathon around the Rectory garden on the VE Day Bank Holiday; around 270 laps, if my maths is correct!”

You can give to Matthew & Emma’s challenge here.


Others took up the 2.6 challenge. The Virgin Money London Marathon alone, which should have taken place on Sunday 26 April, is the world’s biggest one-day fundraising event, which raised more than £66.4 million for thousands of charities in 2019. People are being encouraged to do 26 or 2.6 of something to raise money for a cause close to their heart from 26 April onwards.

A local triathlon with a difference

What started as an idle thought over breakfast on a Friday, became a reality two days later, as the Revd Margaret McPhee, Rector, of Horsford, Felthorpe and Hevingham took action to raise, initially £200, for the Horsford Church Room.

“The Church Room relies on the wonderful community groups and individuals who hire it to keep it going. With the coronavirus pandemic, it has shut and lost all income,” explains Margaret. “We needed help to pay the bills, so I took on a rather different 2.6 triathlon challenge!”

On Sunday 26 April Margaret took a 26-minute communion service, walked 2.6 miles from The Rectory, to All Saints Church, The Church Room and Mill Lane site of Horsford Church of England Primary School and then cycled 2.6 miles from The Rectory to the north of Horsford, Green Lane, around the north estates and back.

“I am overwhelmed by the generosity and support of the community of Horsford and beyond,” said Margaret. “It shows how much they value the Church Room for the groups which meet there, all contributing to a sense of belonging and wellbeing for people, and will so again in the future; that was my spur to do this challenge.”

You can still give to Margaret’s challenge here.


Blowing her horn for the Church Army

“I don’t play the trombone like Church Army’s founder Wilson Carlile but my Baritone Horn is pretty close,” says Emma Sivyer of St Mary’s Martham. She played 26 Hymns on Sunday 26 April to support the work of Church Army.

“Our frontline staff are working to help some of the most vulnerable in society, especially so during this crisis. We work with the homeless, those who self-harm, young people at risk from gang culture & county lines, the elderly & isolated, & the unemployed.”

The first 26 people who sponsored Emma could nominate a hymn for her to play and she played a wide variety, from “such Love” to the hymn from her own wedding day “All my hope on God is founded”.

You can still give to Emma’s challenge here.