Reverend's 300,000 step challenge to help battle climate change
- Credit: SUPPLIED BY NICK GARRARD
A Norfolk reverend is embarking on an ambitious challenge to walk 300,000 steps in 31 days to help win the battle against climate change.
Rev Nick Garrard, of Rockland St Mary, south of Norwich, will complete the challenge by the end of the month of May to raise money for Christian Aid and help communities impacted by climate change.
The 58-year-old, who is the rector of the Rockland benefice and also the Bishop’s officer for Christian Spirituality through the Creative Arts, has supported the charity for a number of years.
More than halfway through the fundraiser, he is currently up-to-date with his step count and explained why it was important to fit the steps into his day.
“If you do around 9,678 steps per day then it should be achievable," he said.
“I’ve been trying to keep ahead of myself and have been fitting in the steps as and when I can. When no two days are alike, this has been a challenge.
“When I’ve had to travel, I’ve walked up and down train platforms. Walking laps around the ground floor of our home has worked too.”
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And while he joked that the exercise was “good for him”, he emphasised the importance of the fundraiser and how it is helping communities across the globe.
“Christian Aid, like most charities, has been impacted greatly these past two years. I wanted to do something to help so when it announced the 300,000 steps fundraiser, I knew that was something I could get involved with.
“I am so grateful to everyone who has donated and I'm glad the fundraiser has encouraged people to donate and take part."
Dr Garrard initially set a target of £250, but has managed to exceed that amount already.
Julian Bryant, Christian Aid’s church engagement officer for Norfolk, explains: “This devastating climate crisis robs people of the water and food they need to live. They tell us that at times it even robs them of their children. That’s why it is so important that we, as the church and individuals in the UK, make a difference to our global neighbours.
“Other churches and groups are making and selling cookery books, setting up JustGiving pages, using our e-envelope, running tabletop and plant sales and so much more. Some are simply giving via our website. I am so inspired that even in this year, they realise that their fundraising and campaigning is needed so much more for our brothers and sisters in this crisis.”
Recently, the Wells and Walsingham ecumenical Christian Aid group, supported by Wells Churches Together, organised a sunrise to sunset sponsored walk along the north Norfolk coastal path, and Norwich Cathedral held an innovative evening quiz trail.
A spokesperson for Christian Aid said that the charity was thankful for Dr Garrard's support.
“We're sure [he] will smash the 300,000 steps in May challenge.
“[His] support means that we can help more people fight against climate chaos. We couldn't do it without our participants.
“Good luck - and keep on stepping.”
A keen bird-watcher, Dr Garrard’s other passion includes the arts, which he is able to enjoy by being involved with The Barn - a base focusing on the arts and creative Christian spirituality, as well as being home to a recording studio and craft centre.
His wife, Helen Garrard, shares the ministry and is also the full-time lead chaplain with the Norfolk Community Health and Care Trust.
Both are currently training together as spiritual directors to meet regularly with those exploring their life journey.
Dr Garrard added: "I also want to give a huge thank you to the people in our community who continue to fundraise for Christian Aid the traditional way year after year."