Moderators Challenge is bringing in funds for refugees in Egypt

Hannah Mary Goodlad and Rt Rev Dr Angus Morrison
Hannah Mary Goodlad and Rt Rev Dr Angus Morrison after completing the challenge.

The Moderator and the Youth Moderator have cycled the 13-mile Loch Leven Heritage Trail to raise funds for a Church refugee project in Egypt.

Around 50 people turned out to support the 2016 Moderator's Challenge, which has raised more than £2,600, so far, for the St Andrews Refugee Service in Cairo.

Spirits were high on a bright but chilly Saturday morning.

"Have you ever seen three bikes in a mini?" said Hannah Mary Goodlad, the Youth Moderator, showing off the crammed trunk of her car.

Rev Jim Stewart, minister at Letham St Mark's, greeted Dr Morrison with a unicycle in his hand saying, "The tandem had an accident."

Dr Morrison and Hannah Mary took a spin around the car park on the real tandem. Despite a wobbly start they soon had the hang of it although they sensibly rode their own bikes around the Loch trail.

"We couldn't have a better day for it," the Moderator said. "It was wonderful. And for such a worthy cause."

The Moderator and Hannah Mary came up with the plan to raise funds for the StAR refugee service in Egypt after they traveled there earlier this year as part of a World Mission visit to the Church of Egypt. The project will work with about 11500 vulnerable refugees and migrants this year helping thembuild a new life in Egypt.

"We both saw StARS and what wonderful work they are doing supporting tremendously desperate people," the Moderator said. "They do it with such Christian commitment and love, it was very moving to see it."

The lake shimmered and shone in the morning light, as the ride took off at a fast clip and kept the pace up through woods, grassland and the occasional puddle. Mrs Marion Morrison and other family members got on their bikes along with Hannah Mary's parents, Wilma and John Goodlad, who had come fromShetland for the event.

Rev Aftab Gohar, minister of Abbotsgrange Parish Church, Grangemouth, came with his family to support youth assembly representative Shahan Gohar who completed the Challenge.

After the event Kinross Parish Church put on a welcome lunch for everyone who took part, serving delicious vegetable and split pea soup, as well as bridies and meat pies.

The Moderator joked about almost falling off a camel while in Egypt saying, "I'd take the tandem over a camel. Give me a bike any day.

But he also touched on the reasons to donate to the St Andrews Refugee Service.

"We saw a lot of passionate Christian worship and service in Egypt," he said. "The Egyptian Christians are wonderful people and the StARS programme really impressed us."

The goal of the fundraiser is to send £6000 to StARS to support its work. Find out more and make your donation here.

See more phtotos on the Church's Facebook page.