27 August 2013 You are here:

Eston Salvation Army Officer cycles to Paris, completing 500 miles in 5 days

Oooh la la: The team stop for photos outside the Champs Élysées in Paris after a gruelling 500-mile journey

A Salvation Army Officer has cycled 500 miles in five days, from Eston to Paris, and raised nearly £3000 for his local community in the process. Captain Gary Chaundy, of Eston Salvation Army, undertook the challenge from the eleventh until the sixteenth of August, averaging about a hundred miles a day.

They visited various different parts of The Salvation Army en route, including Regent Hall, the Corps, or Church, based next to Oxford Circus in Central London, and stops in Peterborough and Northern France. They crossed the finish line on Friday. “It was a fantastic experience” says Captain Gary. “A tough but enjoyable few days. It was always about furthering the mission of Eston Salvation Army and because of the support of people from around the world, we’ve been able to do this and now have substantial funds to plough into the local community.”

Captain Gary Chaundy cycling on the open road

Captain Gary vowed to use the money to further the work of Eston Salvation Army, saying, “I now turn my full attention to being a good steward of the money raised alongside Lorraine and Eston Corp's wonderful leadership team. God is good!”A pitstop to London included a visit to the William Booth College, Regent Hall Salvation Army and some sightseeing

With his wife Lorraine, also a Captain, Gary ministers to Eston, just outside of Middlesbrough, and they offer various services to the local community – from parents and toddler groups, to financial help through programmes like the CAP money management scheme and support with social and spiritual issues.

All money raised will go directly to the Corps community fund, which will be used to help finance the youth programme, as well as provide for an increased need in practical support, such as emergency food parcels. Captain Gary was aiming for £2,500, but has over-shot that mark by at least £250.

He joins such fundraising luminaries in The Salvation Army as Andy Peddle, currently walking around the UK to raise funds for the organisation. Funding its mission, using whatever resources possible, has always been a part of The Salvation Army’s work. From selling the War Cry on the streets to these modern day challenges, a large amount of The Salvation Army’s ability to do its work stems from donations. The Salvation Army, as a Church and Charity, works alongside the most vulnerable, particularly homeless people, those suffering with alcohol or drug dependency, or those in poverty amongst other groups, to help them back on their feet.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been so exhausted,” he admits. “But when I was really struggling, it was the thought of the vulnerable people in the areas I work that motivated me to keep going – all of this was for them.”

You can read further about Captain Gary’s ride at http://estonsalvationarmy.org/eston2paris-bike-ride/ and sponsor him at https://www.justgiving.com/Gary-Chaundy2