Ballynure Presbyterians put best foot forward for Ethiopia

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Last year, Ballynure Presbyterian Church’s four relay teams and six walkers took part in the Belfast City Marathon on May Day Monday for the fifth successive year to help raise funds for their Church Building Fund and for Tearfund Ireland.

The A, B, C & D teams, aptly called the Angels, Believers, Converted and Disciples, all enjoyed a memorable day out, and were delighted that their exertions raised much needed funds for such worthy causes.

The Angels, consisting of a mixed team of Darren McAlister, Christine Murray, Russell Hughes, Gary Stitt and Alastair Black were actually the first Mixed Relay Team and ninth overall out of 2,281 teams with an amazing time of 02:46:59. The full results were - Angels 2:46, Believers 4:18, Converted 4:00 and Disciples 3:45.

The 9-mile walkers consisted of Rev James Rogers, Bertie and Freda Allen, Keiron and Tricia Forbes and Sandra Rowan who all enjoyed the day thoroughly.

Also, congratulations are due to Darren McAlister who completed the first leg and ran on and completed the whole marathon in 2:53, being placed 26th overall out of 2,883 competitors.

Christine Murray, a well known local runner and the Church Marathon Relay Co-ordinator, was pleased with the amount raised especially considering the economic climate, and recently handed a cheque for £726.50 to Caroline Bradley of Tearfund Ireland.

The money raised will help families who need it most in Ethiopia.

These families, as a result of policy, conflict, lack of education, lack of supplies and poverty, miss out on many of the basic necessities for life.

Through the work of the Kale Heywett Church in Ethiopia, the welfare of families are being transformed and many barriers overcome. People like Thhay, an Ethiopian mother who lives in the slums of Addis Ababa.

After receiving a small loan from her church, she bought two griddles and set up a small bakery business.

Thanks to the money raised by the runners of Ballynure Presbyterian Church, many more groups will be helped to enable people start savings schemes, access small start up loans and develop small businesses to lift them out of poverty.

To find out more about the work of Tearfund visit: www.tearfund.org