On Friday 1st August the Revds Andrew McCroskery and the Revd Nigel Kirkpatrick ‘revved’ up their trusty powerful motorbikes and set off on a marathon 3,000km trip around Ireland.
Not just a random tour as their itinerary took them to every Church of Ireland cathedral on the island, all in a period of 10 days.
In each place they prayed with those who came along to support, for each particular cathedral, its clergy, its people and the diocese it serves, as well as praying for Swaziland and the United Society (US).
The inspiration came when they were discussing how they and their motorbikes could mark the 300th anniversary of the Unisted Society in Ireland. The plan was to raise awareness and raise funds – and at the same time have some fun.
Linda Chambers and Jan de Bruijn followed the bikes in true ‘tour de France’ style in the support vehicle, a campervan, that quickly became dubbed as the ‘Us bus’! It carried wet gear, spare gloves, boots and helmets as well as clerical vestments and clothes, etc.
It turned out to be a wonderful experience, in mostly good sunshine but not without suffering the occasional deluge!
The company was good and the welcome and hospitality shown was amazing. All concerned express their heartfelt thanks to those who helped in any way: donating, welcoming, feeding, accommodating – all four on the tour appreciated it all.
The cavalcade descended in Cashel, Ferns and Ossory on Thursday 7th August to Waterford, completing our six cathedrals in three days, finishing up in Ferns on the Saturday before heading to Dublin and finally back to Belfast to complete the circle.
Food for thought for our Bishop for his next escapade?!
Part of the little service included a special prayer for those who travel on our road – so relevant in these days:
God of the journey, we bring you our thanks and praise that you are always our faithful traveller and companion on the way. Shelter and protect us from all harm, grant us strength and courage for the journey and a peace and joy in our hearts that we can share with all whom we meet.
Grant your rest to the weary, peace to the troubled in mid and comfort to the distressed. As we journey our separate ways this day, may we know that you journey with us in all things until we come to our eternal home in you, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, Amen.