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Retired priest travels 400 miles by bus to raise funds for Mothers’ Union

30 June 2023

NEWCASTLE DIOCESE

The Revd Sheila Auld before the challenge

The Revd Sheila Auld before the challenge

A RETIRED priest in Newcastle diocese, the Revd Sheila Auld, aged 85, has completed a 400-mile journey to Sussex by public transport, to raise funds for the Mothers’ Union (MU).

She used her pensioners’ bus pass for the journey, travelling up to eight hours a day for six days, and staying overnight in the homes of MU members. She used 26 buses in all, starting with the Angel of the North service, known as the Angel Bus, and finishing at the home of her sister, Elsie Watson, in Chichester.

Her son John, who works for Go North East, planned her itinerary, which allowed her to attend an evensong in Coventry Cathedral. Mrs Auld, a former assistant priest at St Gabriel’s, Heaton, in the city of Newcastle, declared herself impressed with the travel experience, describing the journey as going “smoothly and well” throughout.

“Thanks to the excellent itinerary, I knew exactly what I was doing, where to change buses, and where to stop at the end of each day,” she said. “I didn’t have to wait around for any buses being late. Overall, it was a great experience, and, because the bus routes went off the main roads, I saw plenty of countryside.”

An MU branch leader herself, she was raising money for the organisation’s charity Away from it All, which provides breaks for struggling families. The charity means a great deal to Mrs Auld: ordained priest in 1995, she is a former project worker with the North Shields community development charity the Cedarwood Trust, which works to combat poverty on North Tyneside.

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