Norwich vicar's hat highlights water scandal
Norwich vicar, Rev Philip Young is trying to raise £100,000 to help eradicate water-borne diseases which kill one child every 20 seconds somewhere in the world, by running the London Marathon and wearing a tap on his head for six weeks.
Philip has already raised £2,500 towards Water Aid, an organisation that works to improve access to safe water and sanitation in the world's poorest communities.
He has been moved by the shocking mortality statistics and explains why he has decided to take this extraordinary action.
I was taking an Assembly at Avenue Road Junior School very recently and we worked out that if one child died every 20 seconds, then it would take just 2 hours 16 minutes for whole school of 408 pupils to be dead.
Year 4 at the school have just raised £585 for Water Aid and I was there to receive their cheque on behalf of Water Aid, so congratulations to them.
The horrendous statistic that Water Aid quotes, is that every twenty seconds a child dies in our world from a water-related disease. The tap on my head points to the scandal that, for some water is indeed the water of life, but that for others, the dirty water they are forced to drink means disease and death.
While on one of my long training runs for the London Marathon, I then began to think, well, yes it may well be offensive to wear the tap on certain occasions, but far more offensive is what the tap represents about the state of our world. For me the tap represents the fact that many of us in our country have good clean water in abundance brought to us by our water companies and the many taps in our homes. What we take for granted in our country is not so in many countries.
Consequently I have decided to wear my tap hat at all times up to the Marathon and for two weeks after (the only exception will be when I am conducting a funeral as, in this case, I think it would be too offensive and during church worship). If it causes offence at other times then I shall point to the scandal of the tap and ask people if they can help raise £100,000 for Water Aid so that at least some people can be helped to receive the water of life.
It will be a great gift to give at this time of Lent, Holy Week and Easter.
Pictured above: Rev Philip Young with his tap hat