Beeston Regis organist runs for the church toilet!
2017: Sarah Mapes, an organist at All Saints Beeston Regis, ran the London Marathon last month after recovering from a serious car accident last year, raising over £700 towards a toilet at the church. Tony Rothe reports.
This was an amazing achievement as last year, only 3 weeks after getting married at the church, she was involved in a nasty car accident, and had to defer her marathon place for a year, unsure whether she would be able to run again. Prayers were even said from the pulpit during the Sunday service whilst the marathon took place, and she successfully completed the marathon with a smile.
The fourteenth century Beeston Regis church has no toilet, which means worshippers and visitors must currently walk down a muddy path to the next-door campsite when they are taken short! Donations have already been received to install a kitchen, although the heating has broken, the roof needs fixing, and a toilet is sorely required to enable comfort at fundraising events and services.
Sarah herself takes up the story: “Our church at Beeston needs lots of work, we are striving to make it as welcoming as our running club. So, I decided to do something about it. I had a whale of a time at the marathon - The support crowds are unbelievable!
"However, in January last year an elderly lady had driven out in front of me without looking across a busy main road and it changed both our lives. To begin with I was so frustrated and angry but it has been wonderful to see the way God works in our lives to make us stronger than ever before and closer to Him.
“I was newly married, looking forward to running for the North Norfolk Beach Runners in the London marathon but my world turned upside-down.
“After a year of physio, I have come back more positive, and seeing all the wonderful opportunities God gives us to learn about ourselves and encourage others. I have always been very determined, and I've gradually been building up the miles, getting back to Sheringham Parkrun and the North Norfolk Beach Runners (NNBR) club again.
“NNBR contains everyone from determined beginners running the length of the tennis court, marshalls for events, volunteer coaches to unbelievable runners who do 100 miles in one go challenges! Ages range from 18 to 84years, we have transplant patients, cancer survivors, rich and poor, all with their own backgrounds but with a shared passion which levels all.
“Every person in the club is valued and encouraged at every level, which is how our churches should be, no matter how often we see people or how much they can get involved.”
Sarah has also entered for the Edinburgh Marathon, later this month, and hopes to take her fund-raising total to over £1000. She says “I will need lots of prayer for Edinburgh as I won't have the supporters from Norfolk travelling to the event. It sounds a marvellous route from the castle, down the Royal Mile, round the bottom of Arthur's Seat and out along a potentially windy coast towards Leith.
"We also have a group of mainly Christians from all different denominations who run at 8am from Woodlands caravan site every Sunday morning before getting off to services, a really welcoming social event, led by inspirational 84year old Malcolm Ball.”
If you wish to support Sarah by donating, visit: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/sarahmapes1
Or send a cheque payable to All Saints Beeston Regis to the Rectory, Cromer Road, West Runton, Cromer NR27 9QP
Newcomers are always welcome at North Norfolk Beach Runners : http://nnbr.co.uk/
The image of Beeston Regis church is courtesy of: http://www.norfolkchurches.co.uk/
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