Cycling priest sets wheels in motion for more vocations
A priest from the Clifton diocese has completed an 18-day cycle around all 106 parishes in his diocese, with his ‘Tour de Clifton’ used to promote the need to pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
From 21st April to 10th May, Fr Matt Anscombe, vocations director for Clifton diocese, put his new-found love of cycling to the test with a ‘Ride for Vocations’ cycle tour.
Fr Anscombe covered 807 miles over the 18 days and was warmly received in all of the parishes and many schools en-route cheered him on his way.
“This has been an amazing privilege. What a wonderful opportunity to unite the diocese in prayer for vocations”, Fr Anscombe said on completing his arduous bike ride.
“This tour around the diocese has been a real pilgrimage and a fantastic opportunity to preach the gospel. I am confident that, pushing on from this effort, much fruit will be seen in the diocese.”
Fr Anscombe, fuelled by hearty pasta meals, rode through the sun and the rain, but with his spirit undampened, and he hit all of the parishes and schools on time and full of energy.
His only requirements were a bed for the night and a washing machine.
“I focused specifically on praying for vocations to the priesthood and religious life”, said the vocations director. “However, I also wanted to encourage the further building of a culture of vocation within the diocese by encouraging all the faithful to reflect on how they have been called and chosen in Christ.”
“It’s only when we all have a deep understanding of our own vocation that praying for priests and religious will really take off”, he explained.
Dreaming of a cup of tea at Bristol University Chaplaincy, where he is the chaplain, Fr Anscombe was full of thanks for the support he received during his ride. “I am so grateful for the welcome I received wherever I went from young and old”, he said. “I also appreciate very much the support of my brother priests in this venture. I will never forget this experience.”