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St Albans: 24-seater bike in marathon charity ride

 A giant charity cycle ride organised by Time Stevens, a parishioner at the Parish of Ss Alban and Stephen, on behalf of all Christian Churches in St Albans was held on Friday 1 March. The cycle - specially designed and as long as a bus - seats 24 people, three across in eight rows. The ride started at the Marshalswick Mass Centre on the outskirts of St Albans at 10.15 am. Its route took it past over twenty churches along the way, including the Catholic church of Ss Alban & Stephen, the St Albans Abbey, and through the town centre, where its slow progress was a bonus for those with buckets collecting for charity - in fact one of the wheels falling off caused an unplanned thirty minute stop! Other stops along the way included the St Andrews Christian bookshop. With 24 seats, and rider changes at most churches, in all around 150 people took a turn on the bike. Seven parishioners from Ss Alban & Stephen together with Fr Manus Ferry shared two seats on the bike. The journey ended, eighteen miles and six hours later at the All Saints Pastoral Centre in London Colney, where riders, pushers/pullers, coffee and sandwich makers, bucket collectors and others gathered for a 30 minute praise and worship session in the Great Chapel, followed by sandwiches and refreshments. Each church chose its own charity - these included MS, Christian Aid, Cancer Research, Tear Fund, and in the case of Ss Alban & Stephen's Church, the Youth CaFE project, run by the Catholic Evangelisation Service (CES). Supporting the event on the day from CaFE were David Payne, Jenny Baker, Peter Berners-Lee and David Palmer. CaFE is known to many of us through the Catholic Alpha, Knowing God Better and Catholics Making a Difference programmes. The Youth CaFE project is so important to the CES and to all of us in giving our young people positive messages about Catholicism in the 21st Century. >From an ecumenical point of view, the event was a great success too, especially in the run up to Holy Week. Many many example of unity - the riders, the churches, the hospitality shown to all riders by all churches, the blessing at St Albans Abbey, the joint Catholic Church and New Testament Church choirs, etc. For more information see: www.albanstephen.com More about CaFE at www.faithcafe.org Donations to the CaFE fund via Tim Stevens bike@albanstephen.com