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Plight of millions prompts Anglican clergy to take water only for five weeks

Two Anglican vicars in the Durham Diocese have raised more than £1000 for charity by drinking only water for five weeks ...

Two Anglican vicars have raised more than £1,000 for charity by drinking only water for five weeks.

The Rev Jane Bell and curate the Rev Dan Pierce jointly run two churches, St John the Baptist and St James, both in Stockton-on-Teesside, part of the Diocese of Durham.

They launched the effort for Water Aid after being appalled by the plight of millions of people worldwide who do not have ready access to drinking water.

Dan said: “I had the idea when I was pouring a glass of water and thinking what an easy thing it is to do, but that 700 million people do not have safe water to drink.

“I can turn on the tap but some people have to walk miles for their water. It’s inconceivable.
I realised what a privilege it is to have water.”

He and Jane decided that the best way to help was to drink only water until they had raised £1000 in sponsorship. They continued to eat normally.

Jane said: “That meant no tea or coffee, no squash or juice and no alcohol. It’s not as easy at it sounds. For instance, I drink a lot of tea.

“We were delighted with the way people supported us and easily went past the thousand pounds mark.”

They suffered headaches for the first few days as their bodies adapted to the absence of their daily intake of the caffeine and additives contained in drinks.

Dan said: “It makes you realise how dependent we are on the likes of caffeine but the headaches soon stopped and I actually felt healthier and more awake and lost weight.

“I have heard via Facebook of someone in New Zealand who is trying something similar having found out about what we are doing and we are already considering repeating the exercise next year.”

Photo: Keith Blundy / Aegies Associates

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