Cyclists chalk up cathedrals for charity

Graham Rutt (left) and St George's vicar Nick Chamberlain

Five cyclists from St George’s church in Jesmond have embarked this week on a 350-mile cycle tour around the cathedrals of East Anglia, London and Kent – to raise money for church projects.
This week’s ride is the second leg of a bigger quest to cycle around all the Anglican cathedrals in England, and raise money for St George’s in the process. The first leg, completed last year, began in Durham, and ended in Peterborough – a total of 365 miles in five days.
“St George’s is an outward looking church, and the money raised will help us to build links with our local community,” explains the group leader, Graham Rutt. “We aim to refurbish furniture used by the Fairtrade Tearoom and other groups who use the hall, to renew the lighting in the church so that the schools, choirs, orchestras and community groups that use it can actually see again. And we have long-term hopes to build a new hall that can be used by the community for their entertainment and to support the most vulnerable members of our society.
“It will also help us give more support to other charities such as Children North-East, the People’s Kitchen, Medecins sans Frontiere, the NSPCC and our charity of the month for May – Christian Aid.”
This week’s trip covers Peterborough, Ely, Norwich, Bury St Edmunds, Chelmsford, St Pauls, Southwark, Rochester and Canterbury. It also takes in Westminster Abbey. “Although not a cathedral, it seems too important a church to miss out when passing that close,” says Rutt.
Last year’s trip took in Durham, Ripon, York, Bradford, Wakefield, Sheffield, Southwell, Lincoln and Peterborough. Details of a forthcoming book about the trip, entitled Cycling the Cathedrals of England, are available here. And if you’d like to sponsor or donate money, visit

Follow the group’s daily postings on the church’s Facebook page or website.