David Beal

David's ride from Land's End to John O Groats for St. Mary's Transformation Project

Fundraising for St Mary's Billingshurst, Transformation Project
raised of £5,000 target
Ride from Land's End to John O Groats
We are transforming our church building to make it an inspirational space for all.


Just over 7 years ago, I suffered a heart attack out of the blue. Thanks to our brilliant NHS, I was patched up with a couple of stents and given a new lease of life. To keep myself fit, I returned to something I loved doing when I was much younger – cycling.

I’ve done a couple of one day sponsored rides since then – but now it’s time to go big, and raise money to transform St. Mary's Church!

From June 24th to July 5th, I will be attempting to ride from Land’s End to John O Groats – the small matter of just over 900 miles in 12 days! That works out as an average of 75 miles per day.

So, why am I putting myself through this? It neatly combines two ambitions of mine:

• Land’s End to John O Groats is one of those challenges that, as a cyclist, I have just got to try. And at 63, it’s not something I can keep putting off!

• I want to help St. Mary’s Church Billingshurst where I am Vicar achieve the long-held desire to make our building more accessible and welcoming.

St. Mary’s is a 900 year old church building that stands at the centre of Billingshurst. It’s home to a lively church community, which wants St. Mary’s to be a place of welcome to all in Billingshurst.

The things we want to do are mostly about basic hospitality: providing toilet facilities, making the building accessible to those in wheelchairs, providing a secure vestry area so we can leave the church open during the day as a place of prayer for all. You can find out more about our hopes on our website here: http://www.stmarysbillingshurst.org/transformation/

Please support me in this endeavour! There are two particular ways that would really encourage me:

• Donate to St. Mary’s Transformation Project appeal

• Pray for me! I have done enough training to realise that this is a pretty big challenge that will definitely test me.

Thank you!!

About the charity

We are a 12th century church called St Mary in the heart of a growing village called Billingshurst in West Sussex. The village has a population of some 10,000 people and this number is rising fast with new developments. St Mary's Church has served this community for over 900 years but its ancient building, although beautiful, is now needing a major re-fit to make itself of better service. To do this we have undertaken what we call St Marys Transformation Project. Our objective is that St Marys becomes a building to inspire our community through social interaction, environmental projects, and awareness of heritage. We want to host schools, clubs and societies and hold concerts, fayres, exhibitions, and festivals. There is so much we can do. We particularly want to encourage and support disadvantaged or vulnerable groups and central to our project are the principles of equality and inclusion. We are building access doors, access toilets, a café, removing pews and doing so very much more to make St Marys a welcoming place for everybody. Our vicar writes: “We want to open the doors of St. Mary’s Church building to share the space with the whole community”. Our vision is St Mary’s Church is a building that the whole community can use and enjoy while maintaining its core purpose of being a place for those who seek to worship Christ. Find out more about us on www.stmarysbillingshurst.org/transformation. We would be so grateful for your interest and support. Thank you.

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £1,307.50 Gift Aid
Online donations
Offline donations

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