Clergy on the run

Vicars, curates and worshippers linked with St.George’s Church on Osborne Road will be running the Great North Run this weekend to raise money for a variety of charitable causes.

Nick Chamberlain, the vicar of St.George’s and St.Hilda’s, is fundraising for Diabetes UK. “People often say that the church is always asking for money,” he comments. “And, yes, we rely entirely on personal giving and donations for all that we do. But a church like St.George’s has actually supported many charities over the years and this year we thought we’d like to share what we do. I’m helping Diabetes UK because the disease affects my own family and many people in the different parishes in which I’ve worked.

“I so often hear ‘I’m bad with sugar, vicar’ and diabetes is a hidden killer.”

Alun Ford, the curate of St.George’s and St.Hilda’s, has recently moved to Newcastle from London and is running for Great Ormond Street Hospital. “It’s a way of bringing my time in London and my new commitment to the North East together. I’m very aware of the needs of hospitals locally, but I also know people who have benefitted in our city from the particular skills of Great Ormond Street.”

Matthew Hunter is curate of Halifax Minster, but spent a year at St.George’s before ordination. “I’m running for Traidcraft:  it’s a local, ethically-committed trading organisation, with proud links with the Great North Run.”

Bryan Vernon, a lecturer at Newcastle University and a worshipper at St.George’s, is running for Christian Aid: “Some of the beneficiaries of Christian Aid have to walk five miles and back to a well just to get water to drink. When I’ve finished the race on Sunday, I’ll go and have a hot shower at the twist of a tap.”