The vicar of St Andrew’s Church, Mark Barrett, will be running five half marathons over the course of five consecutive days, to complete a 100k challenge.
The charity event will take place each evening from 4th to 8th July and the aim is to raise money towards making St Andrew's Church, "...more welcoming and more accessible to people of all abilities."
Each of the half marathons will be made up of four 5k laps. The route for each lap will take participants around St Andrew’s Park, along the Avenue, and out to the end of the pier at the Elizabeth Marina by the Radisson Hotel.
Although Reverend Barrett will be running this 5k route four times every day for five days, other people are welcome to take part in whatever capacity they are able to. Participants are invited to “come and run, walk, wheelchair or skateboard 100km or even just a single 5km lap."
Reverend Barrett said: "Our main inspiration has been the people we meet, of any age, in our community with life-limiting conditions. We wanted to make St Andrew's more welcoming and accessible to people of all abilities.
"The last significant investment in the church building was made in 1959, so we feel it is time to make this a priority so that we can pass this beautiful, historic community space, working to its full potential, onto the next generation. As a district parish church, we are completely self-funded, so we agreed to get off the couch and put on our running shoes."
Pictured: Mark is the Anglican vicar of St Andrew's and part-time spiritual care chaplain at Jersey Hospice Care.
The event will kick off at 18:00 each evening in St Andrew's Park, with laps commencing at 18:30. Those who don’t want to take part are still invited to “come out and have fun”. Each night there will be food, raffle, art, music and more taking place in the park for supporters.
Currently, the St Andrew’s Church building is cold and dark which makes it particularly uncomfortable for those with health issues or poor eyesight. The pews are “uncomfortable and inaccessible” and the floor is uneven, making it hard for people with limited mobility to visit the church. The team at St Andrew’s Church describe the building as a “beautiful place”, but unfortunately “the doors are often closed, particularly to those most vulnerable in our community”.
Reverend Barrett said: "Our logo is 'God's heart for the community' but if some of our community can't practically access our facilities, then we don't feel like we are completely serving our community in the way we feel called to."
Pictured: Last year's challenge was "really hard work but great fun and a good way of bringing the community together for a great cause".
The planned developments to the church include a raised floor with level access throughout, accommodating an underfloor consistent heating system, new flexible seating, new fully compliant fixed access ramp, new lighting throughout and an overhaul of the existing disabled toilets.
Reverend Barrett said: "Our congregation has been amazing. Over the last 3 years, through various fundraising efforts, we've raised £100,000 towards the building work. For this particular event we are aiming to raise £25,000.
He added that he was really looking forward to the challenge: "I know it's going to be hard work but I feel more confident having done it last year. The key is to get quality rest between runs."
Pictured: Reverend Barrett has been training with "lots and lots of running on the Seafront around St Aubin's Bay".
The church team said: “Our dream is to make St Andrew’s more welcoming and accessible to people of all abilities, and the planning approved scheme has taken us a few steps closer to achieving that dream. Perhaps you can help us with a few more steps!”
You can sponsor Reverend Barrett on his 100k challenge via SportsGiving.
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