A VICAR went from couch potato to cycling star in a bid to raise money for charity and change his lifestyle.
Rev Jeremy Brading completed a 132 mile bike ride from Guildford to Weymouth to raise £500 for Christian Aid.
Rev Brading underwent a rigorous training regime in preparation for the ride, after deciding he wanted to lead a more active lifestyle following his 40th birthday.
Together with Stephen Dominy, Christian Aid co-ordinator for Dorset, Rev Brading left Guildford Cathedral on the morning of August 2 and followed a route passing Winchester Cathedral and Christchurch Priory, before finishing at Weymouth seafront the next day.
Rev Jeremy Brading said: “I did put in some training over the past few months, but it was the first time I ever attempted something like this on consecutive days so it’s fair to say there were some hills that pushed my limits.
“But I really wanted to do this. I was motivated by the knowledge that this ride would help transform the lives of people who live in appalling poverty.
“We should all have dignity and an opportunity to lead a full life. This is what Christian Aid gives people and it is why I took on this ride.”
Rev Brading managed to reach his target of £500 for the charity, and the money will go towards projects in 45 countries that the charity is active in to help end poverty and support refugees from around the world.
Mr Dominy praised Rev Brading’s approach to the bike ride and thanked the people who donated to the cause.
He said: “We couldn’t do any of this without the support of people such as Jeremy and I’d like to thank him and his supporters for all they have achieved together.
“I have to challenge Jeremy’s view of himself. He never once flagged in his determination to complete this challenge - his commitment has been inspiring. The ride itself went really well. We had drenching rain on the Saturday and bright sun on the Sunday but Jeremy wasn’t affected by either.”
The triumphant cyclists returned to Weymouth Beach on August 3 to rapturous praise from family and friends, and Rev Brading added: “It is always a delight to see Weymouth Beach but I don’t think I’ve ever been quite as happy as when we pulled up on the finishing line.”