Carrying the cross during a Good Friday walk of witness had a profound effect on two men who will carry the cross once more this October â€“ only this time for 44 miles to raise funds for their churchâ€™s youth trip to help mission partners in South Africa.
Fathers Lance Nevill and Robert Scott will walk along the South Downs Way from Winchester Cathedral to Arundel in what will be both a spiritual pilgrimage and a fundraiser for the Church of the Good Shepherd, Farnborough.
Nine young people and three adults will travel to St Thomasâ€™ Church in Cape Town next July, where they will work alongside their Crosslinks mission partners who help homeless children find adoptive and foster parents.
Robert and Lance aim to complete the stretch in three days and have been practising around Farnborough carrying the oak cross which weighs 170 lbs. They hope to raise Â£1,500 towards the Â£15,000 total.
Robert said: â€œIt is a walk of faith,not just because of the physical challenge of carrying the cross for three days along with all our gear, but more significantly the challenge of going ever deeper in sharing our faith.
â€œWe have walked many miles on blistered feet in training and have had to put padding on the cross to protect our shoulders. Despite this we canâ€™t wait to get started as we serve a mighty God who saves His people. We have also promised ourselves a pint of the finest local ale at the end of each dayâ€™s walking.â€œ
Vicar, the Revd Rachel Bennetts,said: â€˜â€™Robert and Lance are a real inspiration to everyone with their faith and enthusiasm for this walk. The whole church is behind them in prayer and weâ€™re looking forward to hearing stories of this adventure when they come back.â€™â€™