Rev’d Bruce Nicole from our neighbouring parish St Michael’s, Camberley is about to set off on a 390 mile trek from Camberley to Lindisfarne in Northumberland. He’s earned the nickname ‘Roving Rev’, having done a similar walk to northern Spain a few years ago. He plans to connect with communities up and down the country as he walks, and will be using social media on the move to stay in touch. You can even track him on the website at http://stmikesopen4all.org.uk, tweet him @StMikesOpen4All, like his facebook page or listen to his podcasts and watch the videos, as he charts his progress, live.
Sounds like he will be having a fitting send-off, and everyone is invited. After a 10am service, and farewell meal, his journey begins at 1pm on Sunday 10 June from St Michael's in Camberley, and lasts one month. A piper, police escort and local vicars will start the walk with him as far as the meadows, then he will be on his own.
‘Roving Rev’ Bruce Nicole from St Michael’s, Camberley
This is all part of the St Michael’s Open4All project, which aims to raise £2.6 million for the vital modernisation of St Michael's, Camberley, and Camberley Connect. The project will make the space a multipurpose area fit for use by the whole community. A church is just a building without people. St Michael’s want it to be a space everyone can use, as sadly there isn’t such a space locally. Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, Member of Parliament for Surrey Heath, is the patron of the project, and he’s clearly impressed by it.
Michael Gove said: “Camberley is at the heart of my constituency and at the heart of Camberley is St Michael’s Church. Community hubs are very important to me so anything that can be done to support and invigorate them is to be greatly encouraged. I’m proud that St Michael’s has taken this decision – it shows the type of leadership, vision and responsibility that gets things done – and I have every confidence they will achieve their goal. I’ve come to know this friendly and welcoming church well over the years and support their fund-raising efforts whole-heartedly.”
Model of the proposed changes to St Michael’s, Camberley, showing the new hall
After 161 years, St Michael’s needs a facelift so it can continue to be an effective building for worship and for use by the community. The changes will retain its Victorian heritage, but include a new community space, essential structural work and interior enhancements to make the church easily accessible, flexible and open for all.
Andy Mitchell, Churchwarden. said: "Bruce has chosen a wonderful way of demonstrating not just his own faith, but his faith in the renewal of St Michael's. Our project to raise these funds isn't just about a new church building, it's also about renewing the faith in our Camberley community and Bruce's pilgrimage to Holy Island will link communities up and down the country. His commitment and leadership in doing this is highly commendable and a very fitting way to kick off our fund-raising".
The project also includes raising money for Camberley Connect Christian Counselling Service. Connect is a counselling service offering help and support to individuals, couples and families experiencing a range of problems and difficulties. No fixed charge is made to cover costs, and significant fund-raising is needed to ensure that high quality counselling can continue to be provided to people of all faiths and none, and regardless of financial situation.
To follow Bruce’s progress on his walk, or find out more about the project, visit http://stmikesopen4all.org.uk