Tag Archives: Methodist

I need more sponsors or I’ll be embarrassed. Please help

At the moment I am doing better at recruiting extra riders for our Epworth pilgrimage than I am at getting sponsors for me! We are up to 8 riders, 1 walker and 1 runner so far.

Now I want some more sponsors! We are raising money for two great causes:

Youth Cafe in Syston. We want to convert part of the Methodist Church Centre into a self contained, youth friendly venue. The first target is to get the work completed (new entrance created by reconfiguring the toilets) so that we can open as many evenings each week as possible. Later we want to be able to open during the day too as a Community Hub. Syston is really lacking places for young people to go.

The Development Work at Epworth Old Rectory. This great museum has been having lots of work done to make restore it and making it a better place to visit. The place where John and Charles Wesley grew up is an important piece of heritage, not just for Methodists but for us all as the Wesleys had a profound impact on the whole country, indeed the much of the world.

The total I raise will get split 50% to each of these causes.

You can sponsor me here.

Please do so because it is starting to get embarrassing as all the others leave me behind ūüėČ


How to join the Methodist Cycling Pilgrimage

Latest news always at Epworth Rides.

It is very easy to join the Methodist Cycling Pilgrimage

Just two simple steps:

  1. Tell me (Dave) either by email dave@warnock.me.uk or leave a comment here
  2. Join the Fundraising event on Virgin Money Giving to start collecting money. Details below:

To get registered with our event on Virgin Money Giving

This looks like a long list because I have spelled out every step. It is very straightforward (but easiest if you use the answers I give in item 3 below).

  1. Use your web browser tot our event page  on Virgin Money Giving.
  2. Click the “Start Fundraising” button on the right
  3. As you fill in the form there are two important questions to get right:
    1. Answer “No” to the question “Has your charity contributed to the cost of your event?*”
    2. Answer “Just me” to the question “Are you fundraising on your own or with other people?”
  4. When done click “Next”
  5. If you don’t already have an account with Virgin Money Giving click “Register” to create one.
  6. Fill in your details click “Next”
  7. Give your security details (note that it will only ever ask you for 2 letters of your password eg 5th and 7th). Click “Next”
  8. You will now get to choose a unique web page address for your fundraising. Remember this, it is what you will want to tell everyone you ask to sponsor you. Click “Next”
  9. It gives you my details so you can tell me you have registered. Click “Next”
  10. It tells you about creating your own webpage where people will find out what you are doing and where they can donate (it will be at the address you chose in ¬†step 9). For example my page is¬†http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DaveWarnock¬†Click “Create my page”.
  11. You now get to customise your page (you can change this at anytime in the future). When you are happy click “Save” then “Next”.
  12. Now you get to control whether you are told about donations and are able to customise your thank-you. I suggest both are a good idea. When done click “Create my page”.
  13. You can now share your page on facebook, by email or through twitter. When done click “Go to my account”
  14. All done for the moment. You can come back and edit your page to keep people interested. Please continue to share it via social media and email.

Note that Virgin Money Giving is a free service for us to use and all the sponsorship money goes straight into the Church bank account!

I look forward to seeing your name added to the list of riders!


Epworth Pilgrimage Route Maps

Latest news always at Epworth Rides.

Main Ride: Saturday (repeated in reverse on Monday):
Syston Methodist Church to/from Church Laneham

Main outward ride on Saturday 24th May. The same route is used in reverse on Monday 26th May to return from Church Laneham.
Total 61.5 miles.
If this is too far then you can reduce it (on Saturday and/or on Monday) to 26 miles by using the train between Syston and Newark-on-Trent, this also cuts out the biggest climbs of the pilgrimage.

The southern section between Syston and Newark-on-Trent is mostly on minor roads (apart from the 5 miles to Newark North Gate Station which use an old railway line). The section between Newark-on-Trent and Church Laneham is mostly off road or on some very minor roads with poor surfaces.


There are not many places to stop.¬†You might find a few pubs open, but the “official” stops are

  1. The only coffee shop/cafe we pass (fortunately an excellent one) which is at Long Clawson:
    Saturday 15 miles: Monday 47 miles.
  2. The support crew will wait for us at Elton near the crossing of the A52:
    Saturday 25 miles: Monday 37 miles.
  3. The support crew will wait for us outside Newark-on-Trent North Gate Station. NB our train connection uses Newark Castle less than a mile away, so train users will need to cycle between the stations.
    Saturday 36 miles: Monday 25 miles.
  4. There is a large convenience store just 1 mile north of Newark North Gate Station. The route uses Winthorpe Road, the shop is on Meering Ave (on left on Saturday, right on Monday):
    Saturday 37 miles: Monday 24 miles.
  5. The support crew will wait for us in the village of Eagle.
    Saturday 50 miles: Monday 12 miles

That means a maximum of 15 miles between stops. The support crew will have water, bananas and energy bars. Plus anything you want to give them to carry for you.

If you choose to stay at the B&B then the route is about 3 miles shorter (a little way south of the A57). Of course this means the ride on Sunday is about 3 miles further each way.

Main Ride: Sunday
Church Laneham to Epworth and then back

Sunday’s ride. The same route is used to get from the campsite to Epworth and then in reverse to return to the campsite. It is 21 miles each way and very flat. There are a couple of sections on fairly quiet A roads where we will ride in groups of at least 4.

If you are staying at the B&B then you need to add about 3 miles in each direction.


There is a very nice Garden Centre Cafe just before Beckingham at about the 1/2 way point for morning coffee (sadly may not be open on the way back, in which case the support crew will provide the usual fare).
We will get to Epworth in time to use one of the many cafes for lunch before the (optional) activities (tour of the Epworth Old Rectory, visit to the Parish Church, worship then tea in Wesley Memorial Church)


A very Methodist Pilgrimage progress update

Latest news always at Epworth Rides.

There is lots of progress to share about our very Methodist Pilgrimage in May this year. So some reminders:

A Methodist Cycling Pilgrimage

from Leicester to the Epworth Old Rectory

165 miles over a three day May Bank Holiday weekend

24th, 25th and 26th May 2014


  • A beautiful bike ride over three days, with lovely people, through stunning Leicestershire countryside and flat as a pancake Lincolnshire.
  • Two nights camping (option to upgrade to a B&B). Both nights at the same site so you only pitch your tent once. Site has good shower and toilet facilities and electricity for all your gadgets.
  • A support team to carry all your luggage, rescue you if needed and cook breakfast ūüôā
  • Guided tour of Epworth Old Rectory home of the Wesleys, founders of Methodism.
  • A chance to visit Epworth Parish Church where John Wesley preached standing on his Father’s grave.
  • Special celebration worship at Wesley Memorial Church, Epworth

Everyone is welcome to cycle with us and we have a variety of flexible route options to suit varying preferences.

The “Main” Ride is as follows:

Grand Total 165 miles

Route maps are already available and are on both Garmin Connect and Strava. Printed route cue sheets will also be available.


If 165 miles over three days seems a little too far for you, then there are plenty of options for you to reduce it to what suits you:

Option A: On either or both Saturday and Monday use the train between Syston and Newark-on-Trent. This saves 36 miles cycling each time you take the train. That reduces¬†the ride to only 26 very flat miles (23 if staying at the B&B). You don’t need to decide this ahead of time as the route passes very close to the station at Newark-on-Trent, the trains are hourly and you don’t have to book to take your bike on the train.

Option B: On the Sunday the support team will be driving from the campsite to Epworth. That means you can choose to not cycle or cycle only one way (you choose). You could ride to Epworth in the morning (21 miles or 24 if staying at the B&B) and decide later if you are going to cycle back or get a lift. Or have a lazy morning with the option of cycling back if you feel like it.

Option C: We can provide a small number of people with transport all the way to or from the campsite on Saturday/Monday giving you the chance to simply join the Sunday ride to/from Epworth (21 miles each way or 24 miles if staying at the B&B).

Option D: the Our support team will be able to pick up a number of cyclists and their bikes at nearly any point if you find the distance is too great or have a mechanical problem that we can’t fix.

Getting to Syston for the start.

Option A: Drive to Syston with your bike and park your car for the weekend in the driveway of one of our Church Members (optionally arrive Friday night and we will find someone to put you up).

Option B: Arrive at Syston by train. Hourly service from Leicester or from stations up to Nottingham. No bike booking needed on this local line. Again if it is easier to arrive on Friday night we can find somewhere for you to stay.

Option C: Arrive at Leicester by train either on Friday evening or Saturday morning. We will arrange a guide to cycle with you from Leicester to Syston (7.3 miles). The guide will have a cargobike to help with your luggage. If you arrive on Friday then we will find accommodation for you.

Essentially all the same options (in reverse) are available for getting home from Syston at the end.


We will provide, at no cost to you:

  • Accommodation with a Church member on Friday evening.
  • Parking in a Church members driveway for the weekend, if needed
  • Coffee/Tea and Cake before we start on Saturday
  • Breakfast on Sunday and Monday for the campers
  • Coffee/Tea and Cake at the end on Monday
  • Support vehicle to rescue you if needed
  • Refuelling points on each ride, maximum 15 miles apart

You will need to pay for:

  • Getting to/from Syston
  • All train fares
  • Campsite or B&B costs
  • Evening meals Saturday and Sunday (two local pubs or cook for yourself at the campsite)
  • Cafe stops while cycling (very limited options on Saturday and Monday)


All riders need to be sponsored. 50% of the money raised is to go to the Epworth Old Rectory. The other 50% to go to a charity chosen by the rider (although we encourage all to consider giving to the Syston Methodist Church Community Hub project which will allow us to open a Youth Cafe).

We will provide sponsor forms and will sign off completion of the ride. We expect all riders to raise a minimum of £100 in sponsorship. We have an account on VirginGiving to allow you to raise your sponsorship through the Internet.

Any questions?


January 100 mile ride route. Syston to Launde Abbey

Unsurprising I have had to change some of the details of my Cycling Goals for 2014. So my 100 mile ride for January won’t be on Friday 24th (I have a funeral to take), instead I am going to take a roundabout route to Launde Abbey on Monday 27th.

I need to be there by 4pm ready for a retreat that I organise for Ministers in the Northampton Methodist District.

So an early start for a loaded (stuff for 3 nights away) ride.

I have updated the route from previous years to include plenty of coffee shop locations. For anyone interested the route is available on Strava.

A winter, loaded ride of 101.9 miles with 5,421 feet of climbing sounds like the sort of thing my Bike for Life was created for ūüôā A route that passes independent coffee shops in Melton, Long Clawson, Bottesford, Oakham and Stamford sounds like it was created for ¬†me ūüôā


Methodist Pilgrimage Confirmation Update

A quick update on the Methodist Pilgrimage 2014.

It is a Sponsored Cycle Ride from Leicester to Epworth Old Rectory and back. We start on Saturday 24th May and end on Monday 26th May.

The pieces are falling into place so we now have a set of confirmations:

  • Methodist Insurance have confirmed insurance cover is possible
  • The Old Epworth Rectory have confirmed they will welcome us and we will have guided tours on the Sunday
  • Epworth Wesley Memorial Church have confirmed they will welcome us. We will have some worship here on the Sunday
  • A shorter ride is possible on Saturday and Monday for those who prefer it (using the train between Leicester and Newark then cycle)
  • Syston Methodist Church are organising a Coach party to join us in Epworth, leaving after Sunday morning worship
  • Either camping or B&B accommodation are available near Church Laneham for Saturday and Sunday Nights.

So the cycling distances are

Standard Route (158 miles in total)

  • Saturday 24th: Syston Methodist Church to Church Laneham: 58 miles
  • Sunday 25th: Church Laneham to Epworth and back: 42 miles (2 x 21 miles)
  • Monday 26th:¬†Church Laneham to¬†Syston Methodist Church: 58 miles

Long Route (174 miles in total)

  • As the standard route but start and finish at Leicester Railway Station adding 8 miles to/from Syston on Saturday and Monday
  • Anyone arriving/departing Leicester Railway station can, if preferred, use the train to Syston on Saturday and get a lift to Leicester Railway Station from Syston on Monday so still ride the standard route.

Short Route (100 miles in total)

  • Saturday 24th: Train Leicester or Syston to Newark. Then cycle to Church Laneham: 25 miles
  • Sunday 25th: Church Laneham to Epworth and back: 42 miles (2 x 21 miles)
  • Monday 26th:¬†Church Laneham to¬†Newark: 25 miles then train to Leicester (potential cycle or lift back to Syston 8 miles)

Obviously many other combinations are possible. The only restriction is that there is no train service that stops at Syston on the Monday.

We will have a support crew in a car who will be able to pick up a number of cyclists and their bikes on any of the rides.

For more details see my earlier posts Methodist Pilgrimage 2014 update 1 and A very Methodist Challenge for 2014



A very Methodist Challenge for 2014

I am thoroughly enjoying a three day cycling tour that could also be described as a Methodist Pilgrimage.

It turns out that it is about 80 miles from Leicester to Epworth. These 80 miles include very few hills but lots of beautiful rural countryside and villages. They start at Leicester, the home of the first package holiday and end at the childhood home of John and Charles Wesley, two of the founders of Methodism.

So I have had an idea. An idea for a very Methodist Challenge for 2014.

Let’s do a mass Methodist Pilgrimage from Leicester to Epworth and back. Taking John Wesley’s usual mode of transport (a horse) and updating it we get a bicycle.

So I’m wondering about using a May Bank Holiday next year for a group cycle pilgrimage.
– Saturday: Leicester to Church Laneham – about 60 miles, only one significant hill
– Sunday: Church Laneham to Epworth and back. About 45 miles leaving time for guided tours, lunch and Worship (maybe at Wesley Memorial Church or around Samuel Wesley’s tomb where John Wesley often preached). Only one hill to notice up to Epworth
– Monday: return from Church Laneham to Leicester, again only one significant hill.

We could sort out someone to carry the luggage (and provide an emergency recovery service) so that we can camp at Church Laneham for both nights while riding unladen. There are two pubs for eating close to the campsite which has nice showers and other facilities.

So who is up for this?

I reckon that if you have ridden 20 miles and been able to move the next day and can ride a 10 mile course in less than an hour you will be ready for this.


About & Policies

Dave Warnock:

  • Bike lover: Pretty much anything pedal powered although with preferences for reliability, utility, comfort and speed.
  • Cycling for transport : A believer in moving away from cars to bikes for transport has potential to make significant improvements to our individual lives and to the communities in which we live.
  • Family lover: Wife Jane and three sons (not forgetting one daughter-in-law).
  • Methodist Minister in the Methodist Church in Great Britain: Living in Syston, Leicester in the Leicester North Circuit which is part of the Northampton District.

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