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World Youth Day group on their bikes in Peterborough

Parishioners and clergy from St Peter and All Souls Church in Peterborough got on their bikes to raise money to send a group of young people to World Youth Day 2019 in Panama. Susanne Myall reports.

The sponsored bike began at Peterborough Cathedral and followed a ten-mile route via the River Nene, Orton Mere and the Nene Valley Railway to the Water Sports Centre at Ferry Meadows and back again.

Over £700 was raised by the July 8 event and coordinator, Gianni Bavetta, said: "It was nice to see the young and young at heart take part in our parish fundraising bike ride. This bike ride not only benefitted our youth by raising funds for World Youth Day ' Panama 2019, it has also brought our Parish community together. I'm ever so thankful for all those who came and took part and to all the people who sponsored us. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I look forward to taking part in upcoming fundraising events."

Also in the group was Deacon David Kucaba, a member of the La Salette Seminary in Krak£w, Poland, where he is training for the priesthood. Over the last month he has been assisting the clergy at St Peter and All Souls. His last Mass before returning to Poland was on August 1. At the end of the Mass he was given a very appreciative round of applause by all. Deacon David is looking forward to his ordination, in Poland, on May 19 next year.

Deacon David said: "Our bike ride was a very nice experience of togetherness, spending time in nature and doing a great thing for the youth of our Parish."

World Youth Day takes place every three years. The last one took place in Krak£w, Poland during July 2016. The next world Youth Day will take place in Panama City from January 22 to the 27, 2019.

The festivities will be Christ-centred with full immersion in the sacraments and prayer, leading to an encounter with the Pope. This will be a faith deepening experience and also an invaluable opportunity for young pilgrims to encounter other young pilgrims from across the globe.

Pictured top are cyclists outside Peterborough Cathedral and, above, Deacon David Kucaba and Fr Piotr Stangriki at Ferry Meadows.