*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

Wheelchair-bound vicar to make epic journey to raise funds for new church

19 August 2016

MATT MARTINSON

A DISABLED vicar plans to propel his wheelchair from John o’Groats to Land’s End to raise funds for a new church.

The Vicar of St John’s, Bransholme, Hull, the Revd Matthew Martinson (below), has not walked since he woke up one morning six years ago with no feeling in his legs. Previously, he had undergone operations for prolapsed discs, trapped nerves, and other spinal and pelvic problems.

He believes that his condition could be a result of his chaotic early life, which included drug-taking, sleeping rough, and being sentenced to 11 years for armed robbery. It was while he was in prison that he came to God, and six years ago was ordained.

“When I was in prison in 1996,” he said, “I did a sponsored walk round the exercise yard. Someone had told me no one could walk 100 miles in under 24 hours, but I said they could. I couldn’t get 24 hours out of my cell, but they gave me 12 hours to walk 50 miles. I did it in 11 hours 23 mins.

“Ever since then, I have always wanted to do John o’Groats to Land’s End, but when I ended up in a wheelchair I thought I never would. However, earlier this year, I just felt the need to try. My wife, Haley, and our son, Seth, think I am mad, but they both understand why I want to do it, and totally and utterly support me, as does my bishop, Alison White.”

He hopes to raise £25,000 towards a £250,000 fund to either refurbish St John’s, or replace it with a building more suitable for community use. His progress will be logged on his website, www.end-to-end.co.uk, and on Facebook.

He leaves Hull early next month, and needs to complete his 1200-mile trek by 26 September. “I have a communion service then, and have no one to cover for me,” he said. “I hope to do between 40 and 60 miles a day.”

An electric trike attached to his wheelchair will help during steep climbs, but the battery will only manage a maximum of 20 miles. He will also be towing a trailer holding basic supplies.

“I’m doing it totally independently, because I just want to have that time with God; so if I break down in the middle of nowhere, it’s me and God, and that’s it. I trust in God, and I have seen him do it many times, and I also trust my fellow human beings who have been generous enough to offer support and help.”

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Awards Ceremony: 6 September 2024

Read more details about the awards

 

Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available

 

Inspiration: The Influences That Have Shaped My Life

September - November 2024

St Martin in the Fields Autumn Lecture Series 2024

tickets available

 

SAVE THE DATE

Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website

 

Visit our Events page for upcoming and past events 

Welcome to the Church Times

 

To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)