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Paddling Reigate Reverend hopes to make fundraising waves
5:39pm Monday 25th June 2012 in Local News
Reigate Reverend Clive McKie is splashing out in style.
The Rev McKie, the minister for Reigate Methodist Church, is currently about half-way through a marathon 131-mile paddle.
The Rev is navigating his way along a stretch of the River Thames from Cricklade in north Wiltshire to Teddington, in his inflatable expedition kayak.
He has just provisions and a tent on board, plus an MP3 player for company.
He is hoping to reach Teddington by the middle of next week and raise more than £2,000 to help the award-winning Reigate Community Centre pay off its remaining building loans of £110,000.
Currently, the Reverend is about 70 miles down river, somewhere between Wallingford and Pangbourne-on-Thames in Berkshire, having camped overnight at local campsites en route.
Just before he set off, the Rev McKie told Life: “My family are all keen canoeists and every year we do a few trips along the River Wye together, but this is the first time I have done anything like this.
“I will need to be self-sufficient for ten days and hope that my camping and kayaking gear will be up to the distance and the weather.”
The minister is nearly at the end of a three-month sabbatical from his church duties.
During the last sabbatical eight years ago, he walked from Winchester to Canterbury to raise money for the community centre, which was in the planning stages at that time.
The centre, behind Reigate Methodist Church, opened in April last year thanks to more than £1.3 million raised over ten years by the church community.
Rev McKie is hoping his attempt will be more than a drop in the ocean – or a paddle along the Thames – towards paying off the remainder of the building costs.
People can sponsor Rev McKie online by visiting the website: www.justgiving.com/Clive-McKie He will be returning to his normal duties at Reigate Methodist Church on Sunday, July 15.