Staff from both Liverpool Cathedrals get on their bikes to promote a greener way to visit
Staff from both Liverpool Cathedral and the Metropolitan Cathedral are riding 37 miles as part of a near 2000 mile national challenge to encourage visitors to use pedal power to visit cathedrals.
The Cathedrals cycle route challenge, as created by Northumbria university academic, entrepreneur and keen cyclist Shaun Cutler, is part of a bid to help us all out of lockdown by providing opportunities for cycle rides between cathedrals that can create new partnerships and fundraising opportunities for physical and mental well being activities.
Shaun and a group of cyclists launched the route with a relay event at Newcastle Cathedral, on Sunday 30th May, and our Liverpool team consisting of Stephen Mannings, Director of Music outreach at Liverpool Cathedral, Chris McElroy, Director of Music at the Metropolitan Cathedral, Dylan McCraig, Senior Organ Scholar, Paul O’ Brian from Micah and Luke Allsup, joined day 38 of the challenge early on Tuesday 6th July, to cycle to Manchester Cathedral after receiving a specially commissioned Olympic torch style baton from the Chester Cycling team the day before.
Stephen Mannings said, “It is a great privilege to be the Cycle Champion for Liverpool Cathedral and to have been part of the relay. Cycling is an eco-friendly method of transport which also benefits mental and physical health, so it’s a win-win activity. The fact that the Anglican cathedrals across England are now linked by a network of cycle routes, offers an exciting, fun and safe challenge for all standards of cyclists and on all types of bike.”
Whichever English cathedral you visit this year, you will be able to arrive by bike thanks to this unique partnership between Sustrans, Cycling UK, the British Pilgrimage Trust and the Association of English Cathedrals. Shaun, who has worked with the above partners to design the 42 linked routes, has said that the Cathedrals Cycle Route is about connecting historic cathedrals and enjoying the spaces between them. He believes, now more than ever, after a year of living with the coronavirus pandemic, this is a way to support people’s mental and physical health while promoting the mission of England’s cathedrals through pilgrimage, wellbeing and heritage.
Dean of Liverpool, Dr Sue Jones said,
“We’re extremely pleased to a part of this cycling initiative which allows us to welcome people to encounter our building as pilgrims."
“Cycling between cathedrals is such a wonderful way to combine modern-day pilgrimage while affording those travelling not only to take stock of their environment but to do so in an eco-friendly manner. At the beginning of our journey I joined the team. Liverpool is blessed with two cathedrals and I cycled with the team to Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, where Father Tony and I sent Stephen and the Liverpool team on their travels with our prayers."
It is hoped that the relay ride will become an annual event and will encourage more and more people to get on their bikes this year and beyond.
You can find the cycle routes for every cathedral here https://track.trail.live/event/ccr-relay