Helping Syria in the long run

0714_UK_Neville_Kyrke_SmithBy John Newton
RUNNERS from Aid to the Church in Need put their best feet forward in the British 10k London Run, raising more than £6,000 for Syrian refugees.
Joining up to 25,000 runners from across the UK and overseas, ACN staff and supporters took part in the run yesterday (Sunday, 13th July),
They had collected sponsorship to help the charity’s projects with displaced Christians and other minorities in Syria and neighbouring countries.
Leading Team ACN was the charity’s UK National Director Neville Kyrke-Smith, and also taking part were the UK Head of Press and Information John Pontifex and supporters Miriam Withers and Harriet Nassozi.
Mr Neville Kyrke-Smith thanked friends and benefactors for all their “encouragement, support and sponsorship”.
The ACN UK director, who returned to the UK earlier this month after visiting Syrian Christians forced to flee their homes, said: “It was thinking of the refugees I met that kept me going half way through when the pain kicked in.”
The team have so far collected £6,480 towards the £8,000 total they are hoping to raise.
John Pontifex, who finished the course in under an hour, also thanked supporters before adding: “We’re not far off our total but we’d be very grateful for some extra help so that ACN can get more aid out to our brothers and sisters in Syria.”
Last month, Aid to the Church in Need (UK) announced £73,000 in emergency aid for families who had fled Homs – formerly home to Syria’s second largest Christian community – now living in the surrounding Valley of the Christians, as well as those in the shrine town of Marmarita, which was devastated by fighting.
The aid project is being overseen by Jesuit Father Ziad Hilal, a close colleague of Father Frans van der Lugt who was killed three months ago after refusing to abandon the Christian community trapped in Homs’ Old City after the UN stopped evacuating the area.
The 10k run was started in Piccadilly by the Lord Mayor of Westminster Audrey Lewis and participants passed landmarks including Tower Bridge and Big Ben
After circling Parliament Square and running along Victoria Street, runners headed past the entrance to Downing Street and the Cenotaph before reaching the finishing line on Whitehall.
For information and to make a donation to support Team ACN, visit: