John Peet, former General Secretary of L'Arche UK, is hoping to raise £30,000 by cycling 1500 miles around the UK and visiting every L'Arche Community and Project on the way. The money will go to L'Arche in Zimbabwe, where funds are so desperately needed just to keep the Community going, and to the Projects in Glasgow and Manchester that, with your help, will soon become L'Arche Communities.

Friday 4th July

Rest Day in Bognor

With no commitments in the morning, I really enjoyed the chance of a lie in. The early morning sun gave promise to a fine day. By the time I went down for breakfast everyone else had left for their day activities in the workshop down town, or in the garden, next door in Jericho.

Part of my task during community visits is to take photos for the UK PR Officer, so it was off out to the garden where Maureen and Cathryn where helping to trim the onions. A variety of crops are looking very healthy in the large polytunnel where the majority of vegetables are grown. Part of the garden team were out collecting some furniture which had been given to the Community. I was able to take a closer look at the impressive new log cabin style Community Room where Louigi putting the finishing touches to the fire-proof cladding.

Then it was off to the workshop to have lunch with Peter, Jeremy, Pammy, Iris, Diane, Derrick, Tomek, Micky ad Ian. Everyone brings their own sandwich prepared normally the night before in their house. It was a chance to open the doors onto the lovely patio outside where one of the artist assistants has painted a fabulous mural of a sun drenched coast line to brighten up the wall of the adjoining property. A chance to meet Leslie and Mary Anne who work in the office, and to get an update on the plans for this evening's gathering.

At 3.00 it was back to Bethany to change into the cycling gear for a picture by the Bognor Observer photographer, and an interview for an article on my ride by their reporter Kevin Smith.

The evening party had been arranged for the Community and local friends to hear about the bike ride, so I told a few anecdotes of my trip so far to the assembled gathering in the garden, under a now threatening sky. A great buffet had been cooked by the Bethany Team under Meghan, the house leader – thanks Meghan, Kristina, James an Marie. It was really good to see friends new and old, including Tom and Roni, Maureen and Ray, and Lois who valiantly took the hat round to collect £110 in donations during the evening. Kathleen O'Gorman, the National Chair of L'Arche who lives nearby in Chichester popped in too. Thanks to all for their contributions.

The rest of the evening was spent chatting and then watching Clockwise with Fred who was falling about with laughter at each turn of the plot which he seemed to know by heart. I haven't laughed so much for a long time – great therapy!

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