AN ATHEIST who turned to God and his local church after suffering a mental breakdown is gearing up for a 150 mile cycling challenge for Christian Aid.
The Cathedrals to Coast bike ride, 22 - 23 September, will take Brett Hall, 30, past Guildford, Winchester and Salisbury Cathedrals as he bikes from London through the New Forest to Weymouth.
Despite his wife being a regular church goer, Brett, a father of two from Somerset, only began showing interest in the Christian faith after a bad reaction to taking medication.
The medication led to him experiencing suicidal thoughts, bouts of depression, anxiety and panic attacks, which did not leave him despite stopping his medication.
Saved by the Lordâ€™s Prayer
Describing his ordeal, Brett said: â€œDuring that time the only thing that took the edge of it was saying the Lordâ€™s Prayer. It became a bit of a mantra. I was saying it up to 150 times a day.
â€œAfter a while I realised I needed more of this and my wife, Becky, suggested I come with her to church. It was brilliant. I found strength, courage, love and friendship and church has become a big thing for me. I met some great people and I put my recovery down to the love I received from God, my church and my community.â€
Thankful for the support provided by Castle Cary Methodist Church, and after seeing other members of the congregation raising money for Christian Aid, Brett decided, he, too, wanted to do something to highlight the good work of the Church.
Inspired by the Tour de France
â€œI had a look on the Christian Aid website and the Cathedrals to Coast bike ride jumped out at me,â€ Brett, a Tour de France enthusiast since the 80s, said.
â€œIn the past I had preconception of church as a cold, grey building with a guy pointing at me telling me how bad I was. But it hasnâ€™t been anything like that. People were so welcoming and now I want to give something back.â€
Brett has so far raised over Â£400 for Christian Aid.
For more information about the Cathedral to Coasts bike ride, visit > www.christian-aid.org/cycling or call 0207 523 2248.
To sponsor Brett, visit www.justgiving.com/BHall.