Bishop Robert Hardwick touring all through southern Saskatchewan in effort to go to and supply thanks to each church in his diocese earlier than retirement
For most individuals, the previous few weeks earlier than your retirement are a time for wrapping issues up in your profession and perhaps having a pleasant celebration on the finish of all of it.
For the Proper Reverend Robert Hardwick, Bishop of Qu’Appelle? How a couple of 2,800- kilometre journey by street bike by virtually everything of southern Saskatchewan within the canine days of summer time?
That’s precisely what introduced the retiring bishop to St. Aidan Anglican Church on Friday afternoon, as he made the most recent cease on his biking journey to go to all 50 church buildings in his Qu’Appelle Diocese — stretching from Saskatoon all the best way south to the U.S. border.
“We had an exquisite tailwind at this time, so we did rather well and have been in a position to cycle from Swift Present to Pense earlier than driving again right here,” Hardwick stated shortly after being greeted by members of the St. Aidan congregation.
“I’m going to be retiring July 31 and as a substitute of getting an enormous meal and alluring individuals to Regina and that form of factor, I simply needed to go to each neighborhood the place we’ve got a church and say thanks to all of the individuals for his or her religion, the best way they stay their lives and the Christian means they function in each neighborhood.”
His journey started again on July 15 and has seen Hardwick overlaying round 200 kilometres a day, typically with stops in a number of communities alongside the best way.
The fascinating — and fairly frankly, superb — factor about the entire journey is that this isn’t his first rodeo. Hardwick cycled over 5,500 kilometres throughout Canada in 2018 to assist unfold consciousness of the Reality and Reconciliation Fee and the necessity for therapeutic in Indigenous communities.
Whereas that journey was a person enterprise, he has assistance on his experience this time round. Hardwick is being joined by two clergymen and a layperson in sharing the using duties, with every taking a one-hour activate their street bike earlier than being spelled off.
For the Moose Jaw portion, Hardwick was joined by Rev. Michael Burns from Regina.
“It’s manageable and on this warmth it makes an enormous distinction, you possibly can cease in an air-conditioned automobile and relaxation whereas the opposite rider is on the street,” Hardwick defined.
His fellow contributors are a part of one other venture that’s a part of the experience: video and images are being taken at each church they go to and an archivist is placing collectively tales from every cease, with Hardwick offering narration.
“So we’re doing all this using and assembly individuals in church buildings, however we’re additionally producing a historic video piece that’s like a snapshot in time of who we’re and the place we’re in this time period,” he stated. “They’ll be a three- to five-minute historical past piece telling the story of buildings and folks and the way we bought the place we’re.”
Hardwick and crew nonetheless have 4 days remaining on their journey. As soon as it’s accomplished and he’s formally in retirement, Hardwick and his spouse plan to return to the British Isles and presumably quiet down within the Inverness area of Scotland the place his youngest son’s household and their 4 grandchildren stay.
And sure, you’ll discover him as soon as once more discover him main a flock as soon as he’s again dwelling.
“One factor I’ve missed is being the priest of a parish,” Hardwick stated. “While you’re known as to the bishop, you’re in all places and whereas it’s a privilege to fulfill everybody, there’s one thing particular a couple of journey with a gaggle of individuals.”