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Cyclists on wing and a prayer getting to church

PUBLISHED: 15:53 14 September 2010 | UPDATED: 17:45 14 September 2010

The Rev Alan Green with two cyclists having their bikes blessed, Philip Cahill (left) and Stan White

The Rev Alan Green with two cyclists having their bikes blessed, Philip Cahill (left) and Stan White

Carmen Valino

BLESSED art thou who rideth thy bicycle unto thy parish church, for ye shall be safe.

BLESSED art thou who rideth thy bicycle unto thy parish church, for ye shall be safe.

It could be every cyclist’s prayer to have the vicar give his blessing to rider and machine in front of the altar to be able to go forth safely through London’s busy traffic.

That’s what happened on Saturday, when 11 parish church across the East End joined a ‘ride and stride London’ event where vicars and curates encouraged pedal-bikers to tour as many churches as they could.

It was the first time the London Diocese was taking part in the national event when 13,000 people across the UK visit 10,000 churches. They’ve been doing it each year since 1981.

East End vicars like The Rev Alan Green took the whole thing a pedal further, when he invited cyclists to wheel their machines into St John on Bethnal Green church to be blessed. He is pictured with two visitors to the parish, Philip Cahill (left) and Stan White.

The money raised during ‘Ride and Stride’ helps preserve Britain’s 45,000 churches, chapels and meeting houses, many having fallen into disrepair and in need of some earthly help.

But it took a wing and a prayer for cyclists to get round all 11 East End parishes offering to bless their bikes.

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