Retired priest's 200km Lent fundraising walk to fight food poverty

Father Tony Convery

Father Tony Convery - Credit: CAFOD

A retired Catholic priest is walking 200km during Lent to raise money to help tackle global food poverty.

Father Tony Convery retired in January this year from St Edward the Confessor, Golders Green, after nine years as parish priest.

The 75-year-old is setting out over 40 days as part of the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development's (CAFOD) Walk against Hunger challenge.

Enfield-born Father Tony lives in Cricklewood and during his 48-year career he has previously served the Hounslow and Stevenage parishes, which he said have been very generous. He has raised more than £1,750.

"I’m really quite surprised by the success of it," he said. 

"I started off with a target of £500 but that was reached in a couple of days so I have had to keep increasing the target to keep ahead of the donations. It’s thanks to the generosity of friends and the parishes I have served throughout my career.”    

CAFOD helps communities around the world gain better access to food in the long-term through initiatives such as training in farming methods, and savings and loans schemes.  

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Father Tony said: “All through my life I have contributed to CAFOD’s campaigns, including the cycling challenges in the Lea Valley a few years ago. Walk against Hunger seemed a logical extension of that, especially as my cycling days are over due to a dodgy knee.

"The range of CAFOD’s work is enormous and they have a standing at home and internationally which ensures that they can step in to support wherever the need is greatest.”  

Of his recent expeditions, he said: “The radius of my walks includes Gladstone Park, Basing Hill Park, the Clitterhouse Playing Fields, a pleasant walk to West Hampstead through the Hampstead Cemetery, and even over to Golders Hill Park, a favourite of mine for many years.” 

Tony Sheen, CAFOD’s community participation coordinator for Westminster, said: “Thank you to Father Tony for once again supporting the work of CAFOD and to all who sponsored him.  

"It’s shocking that over 200,000 children across the world are affected by hunger and malnutrition and we are grateful to CAFOD supporters for helping us address this.” 

To back Father Tony, go to walk.cafod.org.uk/fundraising/fr-tonys-lent-walk