They could be mistaken for two rough and ready petrol-heads as they cruise around the island of Ireland, but this pair of ‘holy bikers’ are no Hells Angels.
Church of Ireland clergymen Rev Nigel Kirkpatrick and Rev Andrew McCroskery have donned their leathers – and dog collars – for an epic motorcycle journey taking in all 30 Church of Ireland cathedrals.
The revved-up reverends will raise both funds and awareness for church aid projects in Swaziland.
Over the next 10 days the Rev Kirkpatrick, the rector of Gilnahirk in Belfast, and the Rev McCroskery, rector of St Bartholomew’s in Dublin, will cover 1,500 miles encouraging congregations to support the vital work being carried out in the small African nation.
As Rev McCroskery explained, all money raised will be allocated by the local church leaders in Swaziland to help those coping with disease and hunger.
“It has a very immediate effect, and a very real effect, on changing people’s lives. It’s used to support projects such as caring for orphans and vulnerable children.
“Swaziland has one of the highest rates of HIV and Aids infection in the world. Basic medical requirements need to be distributed and food is a big issue,” he said.
Linda Chambers from the United Society said she was grateful for any funds raised by the bikers.
“We go to feeding stations where orphans are fed and at some of those stations the local people would say that all of the children are HIV positive.
“We work very closely with Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya and she sets the priorities for her diocese.
“Our biggest involvement is with a farm project designed to generate income,” Mrs Chambers said.
Further information on the work of the United Society can be found at www.lindaatuspg.blogspot.ie