Central England Co-op Funeralcare gives well-deserved boost to Birmingham vicar’s virtual fundraising trek

A Birmingham vicar’s virtual bike ride to raise vital funds for his Diocese as it faces significant financial strain during the Coronavirus pandemic has received support from Central England Co-op Funeralcare.

Reverend Dominic Wright, vicar of St Margaret’s Church in Olton, completed an epic four-day journey covering the equivalent distance (around 190 miles) of Jerusalem to Damascus – as per St Paul’s ‘Road to Damascus’ experience – on a turbo trainer set up in his driveway as he aimed to raise £5,000 for the Diocese of Birmingham.

The Diocese is the poorest in the Church of England and has come under increased and acute financial strain over recent weeks as churches have had to shut their doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, which means for most congregations a loss of thousands of pounds of income from collections and from renting hall space to community groups.

Four Central England Co-op Funeral Homes across the parish of Olton – Solihull Funeral Home, Shirley Funeral Home, Hobs Moat Funeral Home and Acocks Green Funeral Home – together donated £1 a mile to support Rev Wright.

They also sourced 60 Fairtrade Co-op chocolate bars from their retail colleagues to give out to local schoolchildren as they joined Rev Wright by cycling, scooting or walking 10 miles to show their support while they exercised.

Solihull Funeral Director Amanda Gallie said: “When I spoke to Rev Wright about the challenge he was taking on and the significant challenges that the Diocese is facing in these uncertain times I was really keen to see how we could support him.

“We are very passionate about supporting the communities we serve and have very close relationships with churches across the Birmingham Diocese, so therefore the opportunity to show our support for local Parishes across Birmingham so that they will be able to support our families when needed was one we were keen to take.

“It is also a great effort from Rev Wright so I would like to say well done to him for completing this epic undertaking and thank our Central England Co-op retail colleagues for donating the chocolate bars to give a well-deserved treat to those children who joined the challenge.”

Donations can still be made to the cause at https://donate.thebiggive.org.uk/campaign/a051r00001e89XyAAI

People can keep up to date with what is happening in their local community by visiting a dedicated online hub at www.centralengland.coop/updates


Notes to editors

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral, travel and property investment.

Co-operatives have always been there for their communities; they were formed to protect them and help them flourish. 

Our 7,900 colleagues serving our Members and customers work hard to ensure that co-operative values, principles and spirit flow through everything we do to help support and improve our local communities.

Owned by hundreds of thousands of Members, we have over 430 trading outlets across 16 counties including West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 

We are proud of our reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.

We invest a percentage of our trading profit into local communities through our Community Dividend Fund scheme, have donated over £1.3 million to our corporate charity partner Dementia UK and also operate a pioneering food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands so unsold food goes to those in need.

Visit www.centralengland.coop for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood

Press office contacts: Rob Smyth and James Brindle

Phone - 01543 421390

Email - publicrelations@centralengland.coop