Sharing the love - churchgoers in Hamilton raise £1,000 for NHS

Churchgoers in Hamilton took part in an unusual 28-mile sponsored walk to raise more than £1,000 for NHS Charities Together.

Members of St John's Parish Church hit the streets for the ‘Passing on the Love' relay as a thank you to hardworking healthcare staff.

NHS Hope
‘Passing on the Love’ to NHS staff. Nick Fewings.

The chain wound through the South Lanarkshire town, surrounding area and Macclesfield in Cheshire 235 miles away thanks to the wonders of technology.

People of all ages took part in the event, which followed COVID-19 restrictions, and those unable to leave their homes to walk fulfilled their obligation by making a video call to the next person.

Marielle Dodds
Marielle Dodds

Passing on the Love was organised by Marielle Dodds, who leads Sunday Blast, a childrens' ministry programme at St John's Parish Church which is currently meeting online.

She plotted the route and her young charges designed posters, banners and flags and held a vote to choose the charity of their choice.

The relay started at 11.45am on Valentines Day by a family in Macclesfield who take part in the church's online worship activities.

It finished on the same day in Hamilton at 6pm when St John's Parish Church minister, Rev Joanne Hood, - the last walker - made a video call back to Cheshire to complete the loop.

She said: "It was an amazing event that allowed so many people, near and far, who are now part of our Parish Plus worshipping community to pass on the love that we wanted to express whilst raising funds for NHS Charities Together.

"Abiding by the restrictions we are currently living with, we all felt we had been part of something quite incredible that had made a difference to lots of people who had a reason to smile."

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