Wednesday 22 May 2013

Stephen Shaw walks to raise funds in defence of marriage and the unborn

From 20-24 May, Stephen Shaw, Chairman of SPUC’s North and North East Scotland region, will hike along the challenging Speyside Way to raise money for SPUC’s work. For much of the route Stephen will be taking traces the River Spey from the coast to Aviemore situated in the Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands. The River Spey is famous for its salmon fishery, whilst the valleys of the Spey and tributaries such as the Fiddich, Livet and Avon are home to the highest concentration of malt whisky distilleries in Scotland.

This year’s event has a special purpose. As well as generating much-needed funds for SPUC’s existing pro-life work, I must ask for your help to fund our continuing battle against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill which threatens to seriously undermine marriage and the family and put unborn children at even greater danger of abortion than they are today. Government statistics show that 80 per cent of abortions in England and Wales are carried out on unmarried women and this is telling us quite clearly that, as an institution, marriage is the greatest defender of unborn children. In countries where same-sex marriage has been legalised—such as Spain—real (heterosexual) marriage has declined. That is why it is so important that the Same Sex Marriage bill is stopped. Stephen will be sending out regular updates and photos of his walk. Below is today's:
Stephen & Sheila at Boat O’Brig
Today, I was joined by Sheila, a member of the Banff & Buchan Branch from Huntly.

We set off from Fochabers in light drizzle along the minor road to Boat O’Brig where the Aberdeen to Inverness Railway and the B9103 from Keith to Rothes cross the Spey on adjacent bridges.  The drizzle soon stopped and some small areas of blue sky appeared by the time we reached Boat O’Brig.  At this point we caught up with two Germans (a different pair from Monday) and a couple from Stirling caught up with us.

Beyond Boat O’Brig, the Way climbs alongside farmland and provides lovely views of the valley in both directions.  It then enters the Ben Aigan Forest adjacent to the Speyside Gun Club.  The Red Flag was flying to warn us that firing was taking place, although we heard the gunfire long before we saw the flag!  The signs recommended that we did not stray from the marked path.  We obediently complied.  The climbing takes place in the first 2 or 3 miles of this section and leads onto a forest road with a picnic bench, where we stopped for our lunch.  We met the couple from Stirling again at this point.  They showed an interest in the sponsored walk and kindly made a donation to our funds.  By and large, the remaining 5 or 6 miles to Craigellachie were a gentle downhill walk on a forest road and then a minor road.

The last 2 miles of the day’s walk, from Craigellachie to Aberlour, followed the route of the former railway along the side of the river.  As the service is hourly, we made a special effort to reach the bus stop in Aberlour in time for the bus.  We just made it by the advertised time.  The bus, however, was 15 minutes late!

I would like to thank Sheila for accompanying me on this, which is one of the two more strenuous sections of the Speyside Way, and for her efforts in securing sponsorship in her parish.

Please consider going the ‘extra mile’ with Stephen and help defend marriage, the family and our precious unborn babies in one or two of the following ways:
  • Making a personal donation in lieu of sponsorship
  • Gathering sponsors for the Speyside Way walk
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