Dress Rehearsal

Dressed for the part now

With just over a week to go now, I had the chance today to get in a final practice walk of a decent length from Evington to Mountsorrel (about 12 miles I reckon including getting lost round the back streets of Rushey Mead, a detour into Birstall to find a loo and following the meandering of the Canal!)

The weather was fine and I left in good heart from St Denys with Geraldine, our Lay Reader.  There was a lot of pavement pounding to begin with but we found a route which exposed to me parts of the city I certainly hadn’t seen before!


Unfortunately, I had a hypo just before arriving at Watermead Country Park on the edge of the city.  Having done all the right things (halved my bolus with breakfast and put on a temporary basal), I’m not quite sure why that happened but I do know that the continuous sensor I will have on my arm for the real thing will help me to take preventative action sooner.


There were lots of beautiful moments but a couple of things from today’s walk really stand out for me:

  • First, the amazing provision of hospitality at the Catholic Church in Birstall.  We arrived desperate to find a loo and somewhere for Geraldine to treat her blisters.  Brenda at St Theresa’s welcomed us with open arms and gave us a cup of tea and some biscuits too (party rings – my favourites!)  She even had the right stuff to put on Geraldine’s blisters – literally a Godsend.


  • The second was the fantastic welcome from the gang at Christ Church in Mountsorrel where I had planned to finish my walk during their Coffee/LunchDay4Andy.  I was deeply moved to see his church family rallying once again even after such a long time to show their support and love for him.  I was also very thankful for the delicious bacon sandwich and a proper mug of tea!  Thank you, lovely people!


So that’s it for the serious walking until I’m up on the Wall on the 25th.  But today has taught me once again about the wonders of God’s provision and I couldn’t help smiling as I found an extra spring in my step after passing this pub by the side of the canal … (and no, it wasn’t because I had popped in for a quick pint, this was 11am!)

‘We have this hope as an anchor for the soul firm and secure.’ (Hebrews 6.19)



Mountsorrel Butter Market with Andy’s flat behind

Andy and I grew up in the village of Mountsorrel halfway between Loughborough and Leicester.  Although I didn’t appreciate it growing up, the village has a lot going for it with the Butter Market, Soar Valley Leisure Centre, canal, farm, quarry and newly opened heritage railway.

It also has a great church.  We didn’t go to church much when we were growing up but when Andy moved back to Mountsorrel he decided to do an Alpha course at Christ Church.  The friendly folk he met, especially Christine and Mick Butcher, had a massive impact on him and he made the decision to go back to church.  Here he is talking to Bishop Tim back in 2009 at the Cromwell Road Coffee House (he appears with his mouth full about 7 minutes into the video!).

For Andy, friendship was always important (as well as food!).  Through the human contact he experienced as part of the church family at Christ Church, he had a profound and life-changing experience of the love of God.  In fact, he told his friends there that he thanked God for his VHL because without it he wouldn’t have met Jesus.

And just as his new-found friends had an impact on him, he had a lasting impact on them too.  He is still fondly remembered, and I am so thankful that the church in Mountsorrel are holding two events to support my walk and raise money for VHL.

The first is a Quiz4Andy on Friday 5th May at 7pm, probably with lots of questions about cars that I wouldn’t be able to answer!

The second event is a Coffee/LunchDay4Andy on Saturday 13th May 10am-2pm.  There will be lots of Andy’s favourite food including bacon sarnies and chocolate cake.  I’m planning to join them on the Saturday, walking from Evington to Mountsorrel (about 10 miles) to be there in time for lunch.

St Paul talked about the church family being like a body where if one part hurts the whole body suffers.  I love the fact that I still have brothers and sisters in Mountsorrel who feel what I feel, will pray with me when I’m finding things tough and who want to do their bit to help.  Thank you to all of you!