Page last updated at 14:55 GMT, Sunday, 12 July 2009 15:55 UK

Priest bikes around UK for church

Father Philip North (left) and pastoral assistant Peter Garvie
The pair stayed with parishioners in each city they visited

A priest and his assistant have cycled 1,000 miles around the UK to raise money for their London church.

Father Philip North and Pastoral Assistant Peter Garvie visited 29 cathedrals in two weeks, including Southwark and St Paul's.

So far they have raised £12,000 towards the restoration of St Michael's Church in Camden, north London.

"We are shattered," said Father Philip. "It was hard work and we had a total of five punctures but we made it."

'Unique buildings'

The pair cycled up to 70 miles per day and stayed with parishioners in towns and cities including York, Liverpool, Bradford and Bristol.

On his return to Camden on Sunday Father Philip said the challenge helped them recognise the value of the UK's cathedrals.

"These buildings reach out to people in such a unique way, they are such a gift to the nation," he said.

"It helped us see the importance of our own church in Camden and made us even more determined to help with its restoration."

Two years ago Father Malcolm Hunter, the church priest at the time, spent two weeks sleeping on the church roof to raise restoration funds.

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