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On their bikes

04 July 2014

COMPARED with the Tour de France, or even with many church fund-raising rides around England, a sponsored bike ride from one end of the parish to the other does not sound much - but when it is 135km in the gruelling Spanish sun, across the Costa Blanca Anglican chaplaincy, it requires considerable stamina.

When the Chaplain, the Revd Marcus Ronchetti, and his son Tom recently completed it, calling on the way at all the churches used by the seven congregations in the parish, they had raised more than €4000. The splendid sum had come from sponsorship, donations, and parish events, and will go to the funds of the chaplaincy, which serves a long stretch of the coastline south of Valencia.

The chaplaincies in the diocese in Europe have to be largely self-funding, Nick Green, of the Costa Blanca chaplaincy, reminds us. They pay into a very small Common Fund, but have to raise all the money themselves for their clergy, buildings, and everything else.

Because there are so many retired people in the area, they have an important funeral and bereavement ministry, and also support organisations such as the Rotary Fellowship, Royal British Legion, Air Crew Association, and Royal Society of St George, for whom the clergy act as chaplains; so these sponsored events are exceedingly important.


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