Bishop of Lynn on bike tour to raise awareness of Papua New Guinea project
The Bishop of Lynn started a nine-day challenge this morning to visit most of the 69 benefices in his area by bike.
The Rt Rev Jonathan Meyrick decided to take on the bike tour to get to know his area better, meet new people and raise the profile of a project which supports and encourages women in a Diocese of Papua New Guinea.
He set off from Castle Acre at 8.30am and headed to nearby Gayton where he visited the village primary school before pedalling to West Winch for lunch at the church hall.
This afternoon he will make through South Lynn, King's Lynn, North Lynn and the Woottons to Gaywood. At 8pm he will lead an Ash Wednesday service at King's Lynn Minster.
'I wanted to do something through Lent which helped me to get acquainted with the patch while raising awareness of our Diocesan Lent Project which focuses on our link diocese of Papua New Guinea,' said Mr Meyrick, who arrived in Norfolk last June.
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'When I realised there were nine deaneries and I had nine days without any commitments, the two matched perfectly.
'Then I looked at the distance involved and it became clear it was too far to walk so cycling seemed to be the best thing and for many of the days I will be cycling between 40 and 50 miles. I haven't asked for any sponsorship but am asking people to support the appeal.'
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He added: 'The church in Papua New Guinea is currently seeking to make a real difference to the quality of life its women experience.
'Their empowerment, hopes and aspirations offer a real prospect of new hope, new involvement and new life, which is what Lent and Easter are all about.'
Asked if he has trained for the event, he replied: 'I always think that training is cheating so I've not done more than half an hour cycle ride once a week which still feels a bit like cheating.'
During the rest of his bike challenge, Mr Meyrick will join a choir practice in Heacham, licence two clergy for their new ministries in Upper Sheringham and Weybourne, and visit a number of church schools.
Mr Meyrick will be cycling on his trusty Ventura bike which he has had for 'many years' and wearing a cross around his neck which was given to him by a bishop in Papua New Guinea during a recent visit.
He was ordained in the Diocese of Oxford in 1976 following training at Salisbury and Wells Theological College and an undergraduate degree in theology at St John's College, Oxford. The former Dean of Exeter also served a five-month placement in the Diocese of South Carolina and served as tutor in Old Testament studies at Codrington College, Barbados in the 1980s.
He was formally welcomed to the Diocese of Norwich at a special service at the then St Margaret's Church on June 19 and installed at Norwich Cathedral on June 29.
For more information about the Lent project visit www.norwich.anglican.org/mission/lent