Six curates from around the diocese are donning their swimming costumes to swim an impressive 5,000 metres to raise money for Cancer Research UK. The team are doing the fundraising partly in honour of Claire Walker who was being treated for breast cancer when she was ordained as a deacon in 2017. 

The water babies are: Claire Walker, Rachel Heskins, Sue Rose, Rachel Beck, Alistair Ward and Rachel Revely. Rachel Revely is in training but unfortunately not able to swim on the day so occupies several roles as mascot, coach, moral supporter, pom-pom twizzler and will be length counter on the day. Alistair is referred to as ‘part fish’ or the ‘torpedo’ as he knocks up a very impressive 60-70 lengths in 45 minutes two-three times a week. The team can swim in relays to complete the 5,000 metres – that’s 200 lengths of a 25 metre pool.

The team are utilising several swimming pools around the county with the official swim taking place in Grantham on March 29th. The ladies describe their practise sessions as building up their stamina ‘slowly’ and that perhaps more time is spent in the sauna than in the pool. They are already looking forward to the meal and drink they are going to enjoy after the swim is completed!

Claire said: “Cancer Research UK is a charity close to my heart especially due to my personal experience of the disease and I have benefitted from the research they fund so I wanted to be able to give something back.   

“Being treated for cancer was a challenging journey and I met a lot of people along the way who are in the same situation as myself, and many whose situations are far worse. My colleagues around the diocese have been very supportive of me whilst I was undergoing treatment and now have agreed to don their swimming costumes to help raise money. My heartfelt thanks to everyone involved for their support.”  

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Pictured L-R are: Alistair Ward, Rachel Heskins, Sue Rose, Rachel Beck, Claire Walker and Rachel Revely.