The Venerable Dr David Jenkins, Archdeacon of Sudbury
, is competing in races from January 2014 in communities across Suffolk, Norfolk
The senior Church of England clergyman will compete in 10k competitions from January to December in various East Anglian locations including Wymondham, Framlingham, Dedham, Newmarket, Hadleigh, Bungay, Brandon
, and Colchester.
He will even compete in a 10k while on holiday on the Isle of Mull,
during August next year.
In England, it is estimated that 1 in every 100 children has Autism and Asperger syndrome, both part of a range of related developmental disorders known as autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) that begin in childhood and last through adulthood.
Archdeacon David, 51, who lives at Great Whelnetham
near Bury St Edmunds
and belongs to the running club Bury Pacers,
will be joined by a team of supporters. They will join him on some of the races through the year to raise funds and raise awareness of ASD.
The Archdeacon, who is married to Sarah
with three children, including Ben
, 11, who has Asperger Syndrome, said: “My lovely son Ben is autistic and a real gift from God, although an occasionally challenging one!
“My family has been very grateful for support from Autism Suffolk
and I am very committed to repaying some of their kindness.
“Autism is one of those misunderstood conditions and I am very keen to raise its profile for those who have autistic children, and the joys and sorrows this brings.
“If I can additionally raise thousands of pounds to help other families by taking part in racing through 2014, and running is a real love of mine, then I will get a lot of pleasure from this too.”
, spokeswoman for Autism Suffolk, said: “David's challenge is particularly timely for us. Our main grant is from Suffolk County Council and it is being halved from April 2014, and then will decrease year on year until it finishes completely in 2017.
“We are therefore soon to be very reliant on fundraising like David's so that we can continue to provide all our services to families.”
His charity fundraising is additionally being supported by the Church of England in Suffolk, with the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese, naming autism in Suffolk the cause they will help raise funds for at the diocesan offices during 2014. The cost of the running clothing for the team has been kindly met by the property utilities firm the MY Group.
To support Archdeacon David’s fundraising through 2014 please visit the Virgin Money Giving website at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DavidJenkins9
Pictured top is Archdeacon David and his son and, above, David with his supporters, back row (L-R): Paul Jones, Tim Rogers, David Wilson, front (L-R): Liz Baalham, Archdeacon David, Charlotte Hodgson.