40 to run Marathon for Jesuit Missions
An unprecedented team of 40 runners is preparing to run the 2015 London Marathon to raise funds for Jesuit Missions (JM). This year’s runners include a father and son partnership in the shape of Austin and Jonathan Lafferty from Mount St Mary’s College in Derbyshire, along with the College’s Chaplain Fr Simon Ellis. The London Marathon will take place on Sunday 26 April.
“Our yearly ritual involving canvassing for runners, sending reassuring emails, and sharing training tips has culminated in a full team of enthusiastic runners hoping to raise some vital funds for the work of Jesuit Missions overseas,” says Laura Howley from the Jesuit Missions office in Wimbledon.
Over the years, JM runners have raised thousands for causes such as primary school education in Tanzania and Zimbabwe, bursary support in South Africa, rehab facilities in Guyana in South America and emergency assistance for refugees in conjunction with Jesuit Refugee Service. Further funds will enable Jesuits around the world to continue their work alongside the poor and the marginalised.
Also in the JM team will be a Jesuit: Mateusz Konopinski SJ (below right) who comes from Poland and is currently a deacon at Farm Street Church and member of the Mount Street Jesuit Community. And John Jackson, a parishioner of the former Jesuit parish of Sacred Heart, Wimbledon, will be donning the familiar Orinoco costume to run as a Womble.
“Training for this event is of vital importance of course,” says Laura, “but the runners cannot do it without both moral and fundraising support. Supporters can do their bit to help on the day by lining the route and cheering them on: hearing someone shout your name on the street can go so far to helping a flagging runner find the strength and motivation to keep going!”
You can also help their fundraising efforts, and there are more ways than ever to give generously. You can do so over the phone, online or via a donation in the post. “We also ask you to keep our runners in your prayers on the day of the race,” adds Laura. “It is a marathon after all!”