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.

Monday 15th July

Route: Canterbury to Barfrestone
Distance: 12.12 miles

Weather: Perfect

Rode from The Rainbow with Eddie, Alex, Zuzanna, Liisa, and Kathrin the last 12 miles to Little Ewell in brilliant sunshine, calling in at St Radigund's workshop on the way, arriving in Little Ewell to a great welcome. Thanks everyone who helped to make it a special arrival.

I can't believe I've done it. 1,754 miles in 33.5 days. What's next, I wonder....

The weather couldn't have been better as we sat in the spacious garden of Little Ewell which I had first visited 18 years ago. Here, the first L'Arche Community began thanks to the Archbishop of Canterbury who made available the Old Rectory which became the first L'Arche UK Community founded by Ann and Geoffrey Morgan and Therese Vanier in 1974.

Since then the Community has developed in Canterbury itself with two houses, a craft workshop at St Radigunds and a house of prayer and rest, and another house in the nearby village Eythorne.

Thanks to Dean and Gillian, welcoming posters on a nearby gate and hedge had welcomed us and we wheeled in and broke the finishing tape again carefully prepared from the old perforated computer paper.

Members from the Well Spring day centre, as well as office staff and members of the co-ordinating team, joined us for a sandwich lunch in the idyllic garden. What a tremendous resource it is, nestling amidst mature trees and trimmed hedges in the depths of this quiet archetypal English village.

We then had a time of song, prayer and dance in what is known as the secret garden where an apple tree was planted for the millennium with a trinity of different types of fruit grafted to it representing the ecumenical character of the Community.

As Geoffrey carefully guided the motor mower over the extensive lawn, the local press photographer arrived to take some photos of a re-enactment of my arrival, after which we gathered again for tea for which Paul had baked a celebratory cake - thanks Paul. I remember Geoffrey was one of the leading lights in the mime performed at the 1998 Lambeth Conference in the presence of Jean Vanier and the assembly of Bishops who, 10 years on, were already gathering in Canterbury for this year's Conference .

Since I would not be returning to Little Ewell this visit, I decided to accept an invitation to supper to spend more time with the core members and assistants after which I was kindly driven back to Canterbury by Hiromi, the House Leader. Thanks to everyone at Little Ewell for a great evening.


carol said...

Congratulations John.
What a great thing you have done.
Well done
Carolx { Edinburgh]

raikeswood said...

Congratulations. What an achievement!
Gareth (Skipton)

John Norman said...

Congratulations, John...hope you're relaxing with a large G & T!

What next? How about the L'Arche European circuit or L'Arche international??

You certainly merit an accolade as a L'Arche 'spokes'person.

Love, John & Cath

David Tippett said...

Congratulations John - is this is what retirement about

David & Maria (Edinburgh)

claire.blaney said...

Well done John! What an amazing journey.
You deserve to well and truly exceed your sponsorship target, I hope that you do!
Claire Blaney