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Welsh priest and his wife begin virtual cycling tour to raise funds for church

19 March 2021

The couple will be cooking and sampling local delicacies ‘en route’

The Revd Justin and Lucy Groves

The Revd Justin and Lucy Groves

A WELSH priest and his wife on a virtual cycling tour of Great Britain are cooking up local delicacies “en route” to raise funds for building work to their church.

The couple, the Revd Justin and Lucy Groves, from St Paul’s and St Stephen’s, Newport, have borrowed a pair of exercise bicycles on which they are making their 2828-mile effort.

The couple are sharing the miles, and Mrs Groves is cooking a local speciality at each virtual “stop”, live on Facebook. Included on the list of local delicacies have been haggis, in John O’Groats; fish pie, in Grimsby; curry, in Birmingham; and Bedfordshire clanger — with Cornish pasties, Hog’s pudding, and stargazy pie to come in the West Country, and pie and mash in London.

Their final stop will be a quick trip to the space station and back: 228 miles each way. Their space-food delicacy is yet to be decided.

The couple hope that their efforts will raise £10,000 to fund work to provide the church with better community facilities, including putting in a new boiler and removing pews.

Mr Groves moved the congregation of St Paul’s, in inner Newport, into St Stephen’s, in Pill, to bring the two congregations together and focus on reaching out to families in a deprived area of the city. “The ride isn’t just about having a building that works, but it’s about our mission in Pill,” he said.

“I hate cycling, and don’t think I’ll ever do it again, as I’m not much of an athlete, but Lucy and I are sharing the miles together. Given that it’s a Lent challenge, it needs to be over by Easter Day, and I might have to be prepared for a very late night and early morning to finish on time.”

Mrs Groves said: “Many years ago, my parents sent me to cookery school, which has come in very good stead for this. I love cooking, and this has given me a real challenge. What I’ve really learned, though, is never to cycle without padded shorts!”

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