Music staff from the two Cathedrals in Liverpool are coming together to raise money for Micah, the social justice charity set up by Liverpool Cathedral, Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King and St Bride’s Church to relieve Liverpool residents from social injustice and poverty.
Christopher McElroy is director of music at the Metropolitan Cathedral. Stephen Mannings is the director of music outreach at Liverpool Cathedral. They have been training together (albeit socially distanced and when legally permitted) for this special event.
The pair will be running a marathon on New Year's Eve in a self-devised route which starts on Hope Street – taking in both Cathedrals – passes our two famous football grounds, and finishes in front of the Grade I listed Liver Buildings at the Pier Head. They are hoping to raise funds for Micah Liverpool.
Liverpool has long been known for the warmth of its ecumenical relations, perhaps best exemplified by Bishop David Sheppard and Archbishop Derek Worlock who worked tirelessly to stand up for the city in the 1970s and 1980s. The annual Two Cathedrals Service with its popular procession down Hope Street, the joint Cathedral Choirs’ Messiah performances and joint junior choir concerts serve as evidence of the close working relationship between our two Cathedrals and their music departments in more recent years.
Chris and Stephen aim to generate £2,000 for Micah, to assist them in their current projects to combat unemployment and deliver emergency food aid and affordable food at this difficult time for many people. They also wish to raise public awareness of issues relating to poverty and social exclusion, which are particularly acute in our city right now.
Speaking about their preparations for the marathon, Chris said: ‘Since taking over as director of music nine years ago, I have worked with our colleagues at the Anglican Cathedral on a wide variety of ventures, but most of these have involved music. For this venture we have swapped cassocks and music copies for running vests and trainers. Running a marathon is as much about the preparation as the run itself. Over the last few months we have been out running in the sun, rain and wind preparing for New Year’s Eve. Knowing we are raising money for Micah, who do such important work in our city, has provided a real focus to our training and given us the determination to keep going.’
Stephen and Chris are experienced runners, with both having taken part in a number of races and events of varying distances. During the last eight months virtually all races and running events have been cancelled due to the restrictions in place to safeguard communities against Covid.
Stephen commented that ‘having a running goal is important to me, as is my work for the Anglican Cathedral. An opportunity to combine these and raise funds and awareness for Micah seems an ideal way to end what has been a difficult year for so many.’
The duo have launched a JustGiving page to help reach their target of £2,000: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/micahmarathon. If you feel able to make a donation and sponsor Chris and Stephen this would be greatly appreciated, and would go a long way to supporting Micah's work among our most underprivileged communities.
The runners will begin their epic 26.2 mile run from the Anglican Cathedral at 7am on New Year’s Eve. All being well, they plan to arrive on the Prom in Aigburth after 9.30am, and to finish in front of the Liver Buildings at the Pier Head around 10.30am. Supporters on the route are very much welcomed: please pray for good weather (or at least not high winds!). The full route will be posted on the JustGiving page, as well as regular updates.