A vicar driving a tractor is visiting all six Welsh Cathedrals next week to highlight the plight of farmers.
The Revd Richard Kirlew will trundle 700 miles from St Davids to Brecon – via Bangor, St Asaph, Newport and Cardiff, meeting bishops and an archbishop on his way. He’ll be driving a borrowed 7.5 tonne JCB Fastrac, towing a caravan, for eight days - at a maximum speed of 40mph.
Richard is the Church in Wales’ national lead on rural affairs and he hopes to raise at least £3,000 for three charities – the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution; Farm Crisis Network and The Colwyn Benefice (Richard’s very small group of very rural parishes in the Radnorshire Hills). He’ll be accompanied by his wife, Liz, and their dog, Raife.
Richard said, “We are very conscious that we want to support mainly agricultural charities, as so much of my work is connected with farming and very small and isolated communities. Farming has been in the doldrums for the past few years and so it is a privilege to try and help charities who do so much for not only farming communities but rural issues as well. The farming charities not only give out funding in cases of hardship, but they are there as a friendly face, a contact to talk to.”
On the way, Richard will be greeted by the Bishop of St Davids, Wynne Evans, at St Davids Cathedral on Monday lunchtime, the Bishop of St Asaph, Gregory Cameron, at St Asaph Cathedral on Wednesday at 9am and the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, on Saturday morning at 10am at Llandaff Cathedral.
The tractor is on loan from JCB UK Ltd through J E Lawrence, Agricultural Engineers in Pembrokeshire. Dai Thomas of J E Lawrence said that he first heard about it at the Pembrokeshire Show.
“A lot of people talk about things at the shows but very few of the schemes come to fruition,” he said. “We think this is a great idea for worthy causes, however it is a little ‘hair brained’ as it’s a long time to spend in a tractor! We wish Richard well and are pleased to help him in this venture.”
Fuel for the trip will be paid for by sponsor Mole Valley Farmers who have branches in Carmarthen and Bridgend. Julie Edwards, Marketing and Communications Manager said, “Mole Valley Farmers is very supportive of the charities Richard has chosen to highlight and we are pleased to be able to assist his efforts in this way.”
If anybody would like to sponsor Richard please get in touch via e-mail email@example.com
A draft itinerary follows. A photograph of Richard and Liz on the tractor is attached. For information about the charities please contact Fr. Tim Williams on 01792 204233.
Six Welsh Cathedrals Fund Raising Tour Draft Itinerary 30th April 2012 - 8th May 2012
(N.B. All times are approximate depending on traffic etc.)
Monday 30th April
10.00 Leave Clarbeston Road, Haverford West
13.00 Arrive St. David’s
Tuesday 1st May
06.30 Leave St. David’s
15.00 Arrive Bangor
Wednesday 2nd May
08.00 Leave Bangor
09.00 Arrive St. Asaph and meet the Bishop of St Asaph, Gregory Cameron
10.30 Leave St. Asaph
3.00 Arrive Llandrindod Wells
19.00 Arrive Llanelwedd Rectory
Thursday 3rd May
09.00 RWAS; Builth High Street: Llanelwedd C in W School
11.00 Leave Builth for Newport
14.00 Arrive Newport
Friday 4th May
07.00 Leave Newport for RB in Cardiff
10.00 Arrive RB for Coffee Morning
12.00 Leave RB for Cardiff Centre
4.00 Leave Cardiff Centre for Llandaff
Saturday 5th May
10.00 Meet the Archbishop at Llandaff Cathedral
12.00 Leave Llandaff for Brecon
16.00 Arrive Brecon
Sunday 6th May
Brecon all day
Patronal Festival in Cathedral
Monday 7th May
10.00 Join with RABI Team in Brecon collecting
Tuesday 8th May
06.30 Leave caravan at Brecon and travel to Clarbeston Road, Haverford West with Fastrac.
10.00 Back at Clarbeston Road, Haverford West – deliver Fastrac.
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