Peddling to keep warm - Marathon tandem ride for Bradford community appeal

Vicar of St Stephen’s, West Bowling, Bradford, the Revd Jimmy Hinton, and Sarah Hinton, Project Manager of the Shine Community Project, are to take on the challenge of a marathon tandem ride to raise the  £60 thousand needed to provide their large Victorian church and community centre with  underfloor heating.

Pictured (left) getting on the tandem together for the first time, Jimmy and Sarah have launched the ‘Warm the Heart’ appeal which aims to raise the money in just ninety days between March 1st and May 29th through a host of sponsored events and activities including, concerts, comedy and quiz nights and donations. 

The  Shine community project, based at St Stephen’s Church,  runs exercise classes, jobs search clubs, arts and crafts classes, refugee welcome groups and much more for more than 250 people  each week -  as well as worship for a young and growing church family.  But at the moment any heat is provided by blankets, hot water bottles and a congregation which, according to Sarah Hinton, the Project manager, “huddles together for warmth.”

MarshmallowsAt a fireside launch party for the Warm the Heart Appeal, regular centre users gathered round an indoor fire pit for warmth  – and toasted marshmallows. 

A new appeal website was unveiled (  as well as fund raising plans including comedy nights, concerts, a new website, the tandem ride,  quiz nights, football tournaments, a 24hour snooker-thon, a jumble sale, an African fashion show, print making and stained glass workshops. 

Jimmy and Sarah’s marathon tandem ride will begin on May 14th and the couple plan to cycle more than 500 miles over eight days, calling on other churches named after St Stephen including St Stephen’s Church Westminster. 

Sarah HintonSarah Hinton said, “We have been working to restore the building to make it a usable building to as many people in the area as possible. We know that in the last 157 years that St Stephens has been a very special place to many people and we want that to be on going for another 150 years.

Shine“Our focus is on people; but getting new heating and a new floor is essential for us to work with more people throughout the year as at present we have no heating in much of the space so cannot use it for half of the year.”

She added, “Inside the church it’s so cold that when we meet in here we use patio heaters and we give out blankets and hot water bottles.

“Amazingly the Juice Fund from N Power have allocated us enough funds to be able to get a  biomass heater and underfloor heating which would make the most enormous difference to us. But if that’s to happen we will need to take out the existing floor, put in insulation and then install a new heated floor.”

Anyone, particularly those with a family connection to St Stephen’s Church West Bowling,  is being invited to buy a section of flooring for £30, while text donations can be made by texting 70070 with the words ‘Warm61 £?’ with the amount to be donated.

Donations are also welcome through the  Warm the Heart appeal website,  

Watch a short film with more about St Stephen's West Bowling here

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