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Published on 3 July 2024

The start of their journey

Bill Strachan and Jon Ure from Ballachulish and members of South Lochaber Church in the Scottish Highlands, set off on a lengthy cycle challenge for Christian Aid on Tuesday 28 May.

The pair, who are both in their 70s, rode from Land’s End, in Cornwall, 1,158 miles to John O’Groats. They crossed the finish line 32 days later – having raised more than £1,800 along the way – with more donations still coming in! 

In amongst the cycling, the pair managed to stop off at some sites and cathedrals along the way - but why did they decide to do the challenge for Christian Aid?

Bill said: 'We cycle regularly for leisure, and we’ve raised money for Christian Aid before but now we’re combining the two. We’re both members of our local church and have done lots of fundraising so we thought we’d choose Christian Aid as our charity this year.'

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Supporters Bill and Jon with Christian Aid Banner. Credit: Juliet Lunam / Christian Aid
Supporters Bill and Jon with Christian Aid Banner
Bill Strachan and Jon Ure with Christian Aid sign

We are so pleased Bill and Jon returned safely and are extremely grateful to them for this incredible fundraising effort. The money they have raised will go towards Christian Aid’s work around the world tackling extreme poverty - whether that’s building the resilience of communities impacted by climate change in Ethiopia or running digital business skills training for young women in Bangladesh. We work with local partners and communities to fight injustice, respond to humanitarian emergencies and campaign for change

- Val Brown, Head of Christian Aid Scotland.

Visiting the cathedrals

The pair stopped off at several churches and cathedrals along the way, including the magnificent Truro and Wells Cathedrals. Pictured are the two cyclists at Wells.

Bill said: 'One of the highlights was all the people we met, who were really nice; everybody we spoke to was supportive of what we were doing and of Christian Aid. There was great camaraderie as well with other cyclists on the route.'

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Supporters Bill and Jon outside Wells Cathedral during cycling challenge Credit: Juliet Lunam / Christian Aid
Bill and Jon outside Wells Cathedral during cycling challenge

During the journey

The pair had only two or three technical issues along the way, including a tyre puncture on the second day and a couple of repairs in the city of Wells and in Yorkshire.

When Bill and Jon reached the Scottish border, however, Bill was struck down with illness and their friend, Ewen Smith, then stepped in to cycle the final leg with Jon.

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Christian Aid Supporters ill Strachan, Jon Ure, and friend Ewen Smith at John O'Groats, Scotland, at the end of their cycle challenge. Credit: Juliet Lunam / Christian Aid
Supporters Bill Strachan, Jon Ure, and friend Ewen Smith at John O'Groats, Scotland

At the finish line

Bill joined Jon and Ewen at the finish line, saying: 'I’m starting to feel better now - and we’re both recovering from our adventure.'

'We had a great time, but the thanks should really go to everyone who donated. I’ve seen some of the work which goes on in vulnerable communities and I know what just £10 can do. We’re just the catalyst for people who want to help.'

Thank you!

Thank you Bill, Jon, and Ewen! Together we can make a difference and work to eradicate poverty worldwide.

If you would like to still support Bill and Jon, you can do so on their JustGiving page for a short while longer.

Events in Scotland

Want to come along to a Christian Aid event in Scotland? See what's coming up.