Couple gears up for tough charity challenge

A couple aged 45 and 75 are riding from Daventry to Lincoln Church in one day. 'They estimate it will take them 13h and the money raised will go to the Holy Cross restoration project.
A couple aged 45 and 75 are riding from Daventry to Lincoln Church in one day. 'They estimate it will take them 13h and the money raised will go to the Holy Cross restoration project.
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A 72-year-old Daventry man and his wife are to cycle 160 miles in one day to raise funds for the Holy Cross Church.

Mike and Marina Bloom, of Ash Close, estimate their journey to Lincoln Cathedral and back next month will take 13 hours, including food and rest stops.

Although they will be setting off from the church in the dark at 5am, the couple expect the first part of their journey will be on familiar roads.

Mr Bloom said: “Although we are club cyclists and like to cycle long distances, we only usually do something as big as this once or twice a year.

“Because of the time restraints on fundraising for the church we are forced to do this now in the cold weather.”

The couple became aware of the plight of the church when Mrs Bloom became a carer for someone who regularly attends.

The church member informed them of the £326,000 repair bill to fix the decaying stone, balusters and roof.

The Daventry Express launched a campaign in April to help the church in its bid to raise £129,000 by the end of the year.

It recently received an anonymous donation of £50,000, which should secure a £197,000 grant from English Heritage, but members of the church and community still need to raise a further £47,000.

Mr Bloom said: “We are hoping to help by doing the ride and we hope that people will give generously because it would be a shame if yet another historic building falls into decay.

“We just wanted to do something to help and we cycle a lot so it seems appropriate.”

The couple hope to gather sponsorship for the cycle over the next few weeks before their departure in December.

Mr Bloom said: “We haven’t chosen a date yet because we are waiting to see what the weather does - we will pick a day that we think might be fine and will be travelling around 12mph.”

To sponsor Mr and Mrs Bloom visit www.justgiving.com/DaventryHolyCrossBuildingFund/Donate or by sending a cheque to Canon Webber at The Rectory, Golding Close, Daventry, NN4 4FB.

The next fundraiser for the Holy Cross Church Appeal will be a bazaar on Saturday (December 1) in the church hall.

Numerous Christmas stalls will be on offer from 10am until 2pm.