Sherford Community Church Gets Tour of Britain off to a Good Start
The race set off from the new town of Sherford, near Plymouth, on Monday 6 September, looping through the South Hams and across Dartmoor before finishing in Exeter.
The Reverend Tom Brassil, vicar of the church, which meets in the town’s primary school, said “Hosting an event like the start of a Tour of Britain race stage really puts the young town of Sherford on the map, but it is also a vital marker put down as the fledgling community begins to write its history.
“With that said, we wanted to make it as big a party as possible, and so a few community leaders and church leaders dreamed up the idea of holding a family fun afternoon the day before the big race. We made sure there was something to do for all ages with bike races, bouncy castles and a huge land-art installation that was even featured on ITV news!
“The church supported the event as a way of raising our profile in the community, and also simply as a way of serving the people of Devon with joy.”
The fun afternoon involved children’s bike races, bouncy castles, a giant land-artwork and free take-away cream teas provided by the church.
Much of the organisation was done by the church’s Licensed Lay Minister (Reader), Andrew Williams and his wife.
“The afternoon ended with a very encouraging open-air multi-denominational service attended by around 120 people.”
Tom and his wife were fortunate to be right next to the start line for the beginning of stage two of the Tour of Britain after church members kindly arranged for them to have V.I.P. tickets.
He said “There was a fantastic atmosphere on the start line of the race itself. It was thrilling seeing so many world-famous cyclists ride past just metres away on their way to the podium, including the legendary sprinter Mark Cavendish.
“And, it was a hugely proud moment for me, being inches away from my son as he joined the lead-out parade with other children from the local school.”
The 115-mile Devon stage was won by Robin Carpenter, putting him into the lead ahead of stage three in Wales the next day.