Spiritual guidance on your pilgrimage

I was recently approached by the parish priest for Land’s End asking if I could pass on her details for anyone who is seeking a few prayers before they start their ride to John O’Groats, or perhaps prayers of thanks for having reach Land’s End safely if they have travelled the other way.

Perhaps the best way to do this is for me to copy Rev’d Canon Vanda’s email verbatim:

Hello, I am the new parish priest in the Land’s end Benefice in Cornwall. I know you offer details about the cycle route from Land’s End to John O’Groats and wondered if you may be able to help me?

Part of the work I wanted to do in this community is to help those who would like to offer a prayer or ask for prayer on their journey between Land’s End and John O’Groats. We find that occasionally folk want to come to church in Sennen or St Buryan and ask for us to pray for them on their journey.

Additionally we have had a few folk who were really struggling and in need of some support to complete the journey, their supporters do come to ask the local churches for help.

In early Christian times pilgrimages always started with very simple prayers of protection and guidance for the pilgrim and their family. It would seem that some are interested in repeating this experience.

We are happy to offer some simple prayers either in church or at the start/end point.

So many folk take on the journey to raise money for a charity that is very close to their hearts and want to dedicate their efforts, and indeed to thank God for their safe finish.

I wondered if it may be possible to have contact details on your site to make it easier for folk to access the local churches?

I look forward to hearing from you,

with every blessing,


“the church is to be a catalyst not a catacomb”        

Martyn Percy

Rev’d Canon Vanda Perrett MA

The Rectory, Rectory Road, St BuryanPenzance TR19 6BB

01736 810216

Cycling Breakdown Cover?

One of the worrying issues for most end to enders is how to deal with mechanical problems en route. Certainly you will need to be prepared to deal with punctures, although if you have a decent pair of new tyres you might get lucky.  But what about more drastic mechanical issues?  How many tools should you carry?  Should you carry spare parts; spokes etc?  What if you cannot fix the problem…and you are twenty miles form the nearest house in the wilds of Scotland…with night setting in?

On my last LEJOG I suffered a ripped tyre and consequently a series of four punctures within a couple of miles on a canal path.  It was my own fault for riding with lightweight road tyres, that were badly worn before I started (my excuse is I was testing the limits of what I could get away with for the sake of research).  I used up all my spare inner tubes and was stuck.  I phoned home, got the emergency services (wife) to locate a nearby B&B and limped the four miles to it, having bodged a very low pressure repair.  The next day I rode the bike very slowly ten miles to a bike shop, which was closed.  I then limped another eight miles to the next closest bike shop and had new tyres fitted.  Hooray!  But I still had 150 + miles to ride to get to my next B&B and it was already 11:00.

Since then (and I may be slow on the uptake) I have discovered Cycle Break Down Cover.

This is an AA style service for bicycles.  From researching on the internet I have taken out cover with ETA Insurance.  They seem pretty ethically minded and I have full cover for £18 a year. Cover includes:

  • pick up from any road in the UK that is navigable by recovery van
  • transport for you and your bicycle back to a safe location*
  • unlimited call outs**
  • 90 days european cover
  • 60 days worldwide cover

* they will take you to the nearest repair shop, railway station, car rental agency, overnight accommodation or home, within 25 miles.

**  if you have been rescued for the same fault three times in a year you will need to provide proof of the issue being fixed before they will pick you up for the same fault again. 

They also provide cycling specific insurance.  If you take this option then the break down cover is included for free.

If I had been covered on my last trip LEJOG when I ripped my tyre and punctured 4 times in a very short distance, I would have been rescued and at the bike shop within an hour or two.  I could have then continued on to my prearranged B&B stop.  I would have saved the £60 cost of the additional B&B (I had paid in advance for the much cheaper one I missed) and wouldn’t have had to face a 160+ mile day.  Now, in my mind that would have been £18 very well spent!

If you want more details on the breakdown cover here is a link:

Please note that this link takes you to the Cycling Insurance page, which includes Cycling Breakdown Cover.  If you want Breakdown Cover only, scroll halfway down the page and there is a link in the menu on the left hand side.