Cycling vicar brings good news from York

Michael Roberts pictured outside York Minster
Michael Roberts pictured outside York Minster

When the Rev Michael Roberts got on his bike it wasn’t for a short spin.

For he had a very special role as an envoy for the Archbishop of York.

The Rev Roberts, retired vicar of Cockerham, Glasson and Winmarleigh, was tasked with bringing a message from Archbishop Dr John Sentamu to the recent Diocesean Summer Festival in Lytham St Annes.

Pictured here setting off from York Minster, he cycled a total of 115 miles from York to Lytham via Wetherby, Ottley, Bolton Abbey, Skipton, Gargrave, Gisburn , Waddington, Inglewhite and Garstang.

Rev Roberts, whose home is in Worcester Avenue, Garstang, is a very keen cyclist and even managed to take in part of the Tour De France’s Yorkshire route, whilst cycling from the white rose county.

The Archbishop was delighted to learn of the Lancashire Summer Praise event held at Arnold KEQM school, which was attended by some 2,500 people.

Rev Roberts took 9 hours 40 minutes to travel from York to his home on the Thursday before the event.

He cycled to and from the festival on the Saturday and returned again by bicycle on Sunday to read out the Archbishop’s Message, which declared: “What a marvellous opportunity to live out the Good News and tell it to others! ...Remember, praying for others to come to know Christ is a privilege and a joy – and loving our neighbours and making disciples of Jesus is exactly what we are called to do. Be bold and go for it!”

Michael describes his bicycle as “a modern incarnation of the classic touring bike”.

Enschewing specialist sports nutrition foods, his ride day diet included “four small pork pies, two scotch eggs (uneaten), two flasks of very sugary coffee, other liquid, biscuit , radishes, tomatoes and an apple – and six packets of Demerara just in case.

“I never use sports drinks and gels and eat normal food and drink plenty of liquid.”