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Cromer vicar to run marathon for cancer charity

The vicar of Cromer, Rev Dr James Porter, will be running the London Marathon in April to support the cancer charity CLIC Sargent, inspired by his oldest daughter’s recent successful battle with the disease. Tony Rothe reports.

James Porter returned to Cromer with his wife and six children three years ago, following a spell as curate between 2005 and 2009. He and his wife Katie, who is also a doctor, quickly became involved in community life, but their own lives were turned upside down after their oldest daughter Bethany, then 19, was diagnosed with Hogdkin Lymphoma - a type of blood cancer - 18 months ago. At the end of December, she completed 6 months of chemotherapy with a positive outcome. 
Cromer vicar 424CFRev Porter said he decided to run the marathon to practically show his support for Bethany as she battles cancer so positively, give back to CLIC Sargent who have helped the family so much, and support other children, young people and their families who have to face the reality of cancer.
“Our main aim was to support her and our other children,” he said. “As a very close family, we felt we could travel the journey together, but also our faith is very important to us, so there was lots of prayer and lots of trust in God.”
He says “I've never run more than 5 miles (when I was 21!), and so running the marathon in April (aged 45) will be a huge challenge for me, but one that with everyone’s support, I aim to complete to the best of my ability.”
He originally hoped to raise £100 for each of the 26 miles of the marathon, but soon increased this to £150 per mile (£3900) because of the overwhelming support he was receiving.  “I am therefore increasing my training regime to try to run the marathon in the best time I can, and so I need as much encouragement as you are able to give!” he said.
His training has included a treadmill ‘marathon’ at Morrison’s supermarket in Cromer which raised £900, and he is now only about £500 short of his target.
Network Norfolk spoke to Rev Porter just after he arrived home following a training run in driving wind and rain. “That was definitely the worst weather I’ve had to contend with so far!” he said.
“But, the training seems to be going well, and it does give me an opportunity to talk to God while I am running. I am conscious that I am “running with perseverance the race marked out for us” as it says in Hebrews.

“I am doing this to show my support for my daughter Bethany, who has been through so much.  The cancer was totally unexpected, but we trusted God throughout because He is good & faithful. We are convinced that everything will work out – God has a plan & purpose and all things work together for good.
“People have been so supportive, including many of the folk from Cromer Church. And Bethany herself has had opportunities to witness to friends and medics through all this. Her faith has grown, and that has been a great encouragement”
To support Dr Porters marathon run, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/james-porter20

The smaller picture above shows James Porter and his family when they returned to Cromer three years ago.

TonyRothe150Do you have a news story or forthcoming event relating to Christians or a church in North Norfolk?  

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