Saturday, 19 June 2021

Men raise £3,000 for shrine

TWO men raised more than £3,000 for the refurbishment of the shrine to Our Lady of Caversham by taking part in a sponsored kayak.

Damian Colehan and Mike Ryan, who are regular worshippers at the Church of Our Lady and St Anne in South View Avenue, paddled more than 50 miles upstream along the Thames from Teddington to Caversham in four days.

The pair, who travelled in a two-man vessel, had reached Chertsey by the end of the first day then embarked on a 12-hour “big push” to Cookham.

On the third day they passed through Marlow and Henley before staying overnight in Sonning and completing the final leg to Deans Farm, the site of an earlier shrine that was destroyed during the reign of Henry VIII, the following day.

They started early in order to attend Sunday Mass at the church, where the shrine is housed in a chapel that will soon be redecorated with murals.

The shrine was built after the Reformation and moved to its current home in 1958.

Mr Colehan and Mr Ryan were kayaking for a total of almost 40 hours and passed through 21 locks, seven Parliamentary constituencies and three motorway crossings.

They were inspired by an 11-day walking pilgrimage from Walsingham in Norfolk to the church which Father Paul Martin, the parish priest, undertook this spring, raising £9,000.

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