Marathon a better day for the human race All Hallows Church service

To welcome in the Flora London Marathon, All Hallows by theTower opens its doors on Saturday 17th April at 6pm andthe President of the Methodist Conference Revd Dr Neil Richardsonwill give the address.

The annual service celebrates the personal dedication requiredfor such an event and the gift of sponsorship which benefitsthousands of people around the world.

Now in its 24th year, the London Marathon has becomea national phenomenon for fundraising, having raised over £200million since its inception, and as a carnival event is second onlyto Notting Hill in the capital s calendar.

Dr Richardson, running the marathon for Christian Aid s work inSierra Leone, has raised almost £5000 so far. He will become thefirst ever leader of a British Christian church to run the marathonwhile holding office. The following is an excerpted preview of hisAll Hallows address:

Joining the human race is not as straightforward as it sounds.In one sense, of course, it s obvious: we did not choose to behere, but whether life has dealt us a good hand or bad, we aremembers of the human race from the starting-point to the finishingpost. But we don t, however, always feel that we havejoined something, that we are fellow stakeholders in acommon enterprise.

There are times when we are conscious of humansolidarity, and get a glimpse of what being human is all about.Tomorrow will be one such occasion. The London Marathon has becomeone of those occasions when you can feel you belong to somethinginfinitely precious and important the human family. Theextraordinary range of charities which will be displayed on thebacks or the fronts of people s running vests, the remarkable rangeof people putting themselves through hell for good causes, not tomention the thousands encouraging from the sidelines all of that, Ihope, will make tomorrow one of the human race s better days.