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Take up your cross ... and walk

A Dorset vicar is setting off on a 14-mile country walk to raise funds for a Christian disability charity. The twist is that he'll be carrying a heavy six-foot wooden cross ...

A Dorset vicar is setting off on a 14-mile country walk to raise funds for a Christian disability charity. The twist is that he'll be carrying a heavy six-foot wooden cross ...

Vicar Ian Benson is challenging himself to raise vital funds for CBM UK, the overseas Christian disability charity which transforms the lives of people with disability, their families and communities in the poorest places of the world.

On 18-19 March 2016, Ian will carry the Cross from Dorchester to Wool in Dorset, along with a group of supporters. As one of the leaders of the Dorset Christian Fellowship, Ian’s aim is to raise funds to restore the sight of 144 people.

Worldwide, there are approximately 20 million people who are blind due to cataracts. It costs just over £24 to perform a cataract operation at a CBM project in developing countries.

Ian and his supporters are hoping to raise a total of £4,320 for CBM UK via a sponsor page set up for Ian’s challenge https://www.justgiving.com/CrossWalk2. Not only is Ian calling on people to donate to the worthy cause, but he is also looking for supporters to join him along the route, either on foot or bike.

Ian has chosen the route specifically as the source of the River Frome in Evershot reminds him of a passage in the Bible – Ezekiel chapter 47:1-12 – where the stream flows from the new temple east to the Dead Sea. The leaves of the trees at the side of the river in Ezekiel 47 brought healing, Ian is calling for people to help him in his mission to raise funds for blind people whose lives are currently blighted.

As soon as Ian had the idea to walk with a cross, he began looking for some suitable wood to craft the cross.

“I could not find any nice clean wood in our garage, but only two old pieces which I first thought looked ugly. However, on second thought, they seemed quite appropriate and meaningful. The upright is the shaft of an old Evershot farm cart. This might make us think of God's chariot taking us to His presence - which the Cross effects. The chain, originally to attach the horse, is a symbol of our sins.

"The actual cross piece is an old gate post. Jesus said, 'I am the gate; whoever enters by me shall be saved' (John 10:9). The black rubber stop on the gate post reminds us that in the Cross God takes responsibility for the sins, wickedness, disease and suffering of the whole world. 'God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.' (2 Corinthians 5:21)

More information can be found on Ian Benson’s walk at www.dcf.evang.org/index.php.

PHOTO: Dorset Echo

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