This morning people at the local parish of St Joseph's were extremely generous in responding to Father Peter's call for sponsors for my cycle ride to Brighton - all funds go to help local young people take part in World Youth Day in Sydney, Australia, next year. We have over 30 going from the local deanery.
Masses in this parish are well-attended. I usually go to the 11.30, and it was illuminating to go to the 9.30 as well - packed with young families, and with a violinist among the musicians.
I collected good sums of money as I stood outside after Mass in pleasant sunshine. Also had some good chats about cycling - we have quite a number of enthusasists in the parish, and one chap told me about having cycled to Scotland...which makes my trip to Brighton look rather small fry.
"Pastor Iuventus", the columnist in the Catholic Herald, mentions my sponsored ride in this week's edition.
I'm still welcoming donations, and am hugely grateful to all readers of this Blog who have supported me. World Youth Day is something of real value: the 2008 event will take place exactly 90 years after the end of the First World War when an earlier generation of young people was slaughtered at the start of a century which was to see further suffering: to have an event bringing another generation together to pray together seems symbolic, hopeful, and good.