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Ashford to Penzance

July 8, 2018

Highfield Community Church are looking to relocate. The new building is an old Methodist chapel which has not been used for many years and is just a shell, which with a comparatively small outlay could quickly be used for church services but would serve no other purpose. Highfield Community Church want to work in the local community, so their plan is to have an upper floor added to the building with offices which will house a counselling agency, and a meeting room. Downstairs they want to install toilets with a shower and a fitted kitchen which will enable them to work with the homeless in the town and with the local community, particularly the lonely and families affected by ADHD.

 In order to raise funds, Gareth has completed a sponsored bike ride from Ashford to Penzance.  This is his testimony which we hope will inspire and encourage you:

"At the beginning of 2018, I met to explore fund raising opportunities for the new building for Highfield Community Church, and by the end of the evening believed that God was saying I should do a sponsored bike ride to raise some of the funds and to motivate others to get involved. The plan was to ride from Ashford to Penzance in Cornwall in three days; a distance of 360 miles.  after I believed God was telling me to do the ride I told him I would need a new bike, because the bike I had then was in poor condition and would not have lasted for the length of the ride.  In February, riding home from work, a car turned right across the traffic knocking me off my bike and then driving over the bike. The driver replaced my bike and helmet with new ones. God also provided all the finance required for food and accommodation for the three days of the ride.

Day 1

Weather – thunderstorms were forecast, but the weather was hot and sunny

Puncture – I had a puncture which I didn’t know I had until the morning of day 2 when I got my bike out of the garage. I rode 21 miles with it on day one and it shouldn’t have been possible. God kept the tyre going until I reached the hotel and could change it.

At the hotel, they were really accommodating. They didn’t have the food needed for breakfast, granola/yogurt, and they obtained it for me overnight. They stored the bike in the hotel garage over night.


Day 2

Weather – thunderstorms forecast, but the weather again was hot and sunny

Hills – climbed many long and steep hills, notably out of Chard and Crewkerne, also the Blackdown Hills.

A kind couple told Anne to follow them and they showed her the entrance to the hotel when she had been looking for it for ¼ hour and couldn’t find it

The couple who owned the hotel rang us before we came away and said they don’t normally cook an evening meal, but because I was doing a sponsored bike ride they would cook us one. They also refused payment for the meal, but asked us to put the money in the church building fund. This was the first evening meal they have cooked for any guests in 2 years


Day 3

Weather – again rain forecast, and it was warm and sunny

We went to the Sharpe’s brewery in Rock, Cornwall. When I explained that I was riding for the church, the man gave us a 10% discount because he supported what I was doing and what we want to do in the community. God’s favour has been upon us wherever we have stepped out and explained what I was doing.


Across All 3 Days

The phone connected in the car whenever I rang Anne, normally the connection is temperamental

No Pain from any injuries Anne sustained when she fell off her bike on the Saturday before we left home. All were healed.

No chafing for me from sitting on the bike for a long time

Father God gave me safety on the roads.

My leg hasn’t flared up with cellulitis for 10 months including all the training and the intense cycling over the 3 days of the ride

On our last day away, it started raining. A girl staying with us from the National Trust said that the weather front that has arrived has been delayed. It has come in a lot later than forecast Praise you Father."


If you would like to support the future plans for Highworth Community Church, please donate on Gareth's crowdfunding page:







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