A PRIEST was praying for good weather as he and a colleague set off on their bike on a mammoth charity ride.
Father Adrian Tuckwell, of St Patrick’s Church and St Teresa’s Church, in Hartlepool, and church worker Jeremy Cain set off on a 110-mile tandem bike ride yesterday.
The pair were being driven to Holy Island, where they were due to make their way back south to Hartlepool.
They are being sponsored to raise money for youth activities for all the young people from the town’s Catholic churches and have a £2,500 target in mind.
Fr Tuckwell, 44, who has been at St Patrick’s for eight years, admits: “I’m a bit of a novice at riding – I’d been on a bike once in years before the last eight weeks.”
Fr Tuckwell, and Jeremy, who is Hartlepool pastoral area youth ministry co-ordinator, were driven to Holy Island yesterday.
At 1.30pm they began making their way back home, taking in locations on the Northumberland coastline including Bamburgh, Warkworth, Amble and Tynemouth.
They were staying overnight in Morpeth with a clergyman friend at St Robert’s Church before setting off again this morning.
The pair, backed by Jane Jennings in a support vehicle, were due back at St Patrick’s at 6.30pm tonight, where they were being greeted with a youth ministry barbecue.
Jeremy, a 43-year-old dad-of-three who lives in the town, said: “We think we will have done 10 to 12 hours in the saddle, including rest stops.
“We were originally going to canoe from Holy Island to Hartlepool, but a lot of sensible people told us that would be completely insane.
“We have the youth mission coming up, starting in the middle of October.
“We are going to try and involve all the Catholic young people in the town in a variety of different events which are fun and exciting and get them thinking more about their Catholic faith.
“In early November we will be inviting families from across the town to spend a weekend away at our Diocesan youth village in Consett.”
The tandem has been kindly provided by the Gateway Wheelers charity, which helps disabled people to enjoy cycling.
Anyone wishing to sponsor Fr Tuckwell and Jeremy can do so through the church.