Cathedral Cycle Routes – Revd Canon Jay Colwill

Whatever cathedral you visit this year as we slowly and safely begin to re-open, know you can come on two wheels, four wheels and on foot with new routes to discover leading to every one of our 42 cathedrals and devised for all forms of transport.

Cathedral Cycle Routes – Revd Jay Colwil, Southwark Cathedral

As the pedals turn, so my mind can turn with them. As I climb or descend hills, I can reflect upon the ups and downs of my week. What went well? What went badly? What do I think about that? What does God think? Most of all, during the pandemic when we all need a little more ‘patient endurance’, how can I sustain a life of faith during the ‘ups and downs’? Cycling helps me to do this.
Revd Canon Jay Colwill, Southwark Cathedral

The latest to be launched is the Cathedrals Cycle Route – this 2,000 miler that links every one of our Church of England cathedrals was designed to help us all out of lockdown with short and long distance cycling opportunities between cathedrals for all abilities, as well as new partnerships and fundraising for physical and mental well-being activities.

It was the invention of keen cyclist and entrepreneur, Shaun Cutler from Northumbria University and he and a small group of cyclists will launch the route with a relay event, Cycling With Purpose, setting out from Newcastle Cathedral, the most northerly Anglican Cathedral, on Sunday May 30.

The relay will coincide with The World’s Biggest Bike Ride, marking the opening day of Bike Week (May 30 – June 5 2021), the annual celebration of all things cycling, delivered by Cycling UK.

And the Revd Canon Jay Colwill, another keen cyclist and the canon missioner at Southwark Cathedral, will be joining the launch and hopes to ride most of the new routes – if not all 2,000 miles of them!

For him, cycling is prayerful, it is part of his meditative life as a Christian, and here he tries to explain why:

Do you remember when you were younger and a parent or teacher told you to ‘sit still and be good’?

We sometimes carry that memory into our ideas about God and spiritual practices. We think of God as the divine parent who we have to please and our spiritual practices are the way that we please God. Firstly, I’m of the view that God made us and He loves us, pleasing God is more about our grateful response to His love. Secondly, if God made us, then the Creator knows how ‘we’re wired’. God knows our temperament, and those things that give us life.

Stillness, reading and reflection do give people life and joy, myself included, but I actually find the greatest sense of stillness when I’m on the move- on my bike. (I’m not very good at sitting still and being good. ) As the pedals turn, so my mind can turn with them. As I climb or descend hills, I can reflect upon the ascents and descents of my week. What went well? What went badly? What do I think about that? What does God think? Most of all, during COVID-19, when we all need to develop a little more ‘patient endurance’, how can I sustain a life of faith during the ‘ups and downs’? Cycling helps me to do this.

You can find all the new cathedral cycle routes here.

Find all the new pilgrimage routes here.