Shrewsbury Abbey

Nigel Pursey’s 2019 Cycling and Organ Playing Challenge

Progress so far…


Listen to the recordings from BBC Radio Shropshire

Abbey Organ Music Clip

Abbey Organ Quiet Music Clip

Abbey Organ Music Montage

Abbey Organ BBC Radio Shropshire

Listen to the recording from the BBC regional news coverage

Abbey Organ Bishop Improv

In August, I am cycling 990 miles from Lands End to John o’ Groats as a personal challenge, but also to raise money for the Shrewsbury Abbey Organ Restoration Fund. Why? Good question!

  • First, this is something I’ve been intending to do when the time was right. I’m fortunate to have the health and fitness to do this, so I’m going to do it while I can
  • Second, because I want to do something on a personal basis to raise money for the Organ Fund. I really do think we need to restore and complete the organ as soon as money allows
  • And third, because this is a milestone birthday year (21 again!) which I want to mark appropriately

These three reasons all suggest 2019 is the right year to fulfil my ambition to cycle the End to End route.

The ride will take place over 14 days from 11th to 24th August and I will be cycling as part of a small group (supported) trip organised by Pedal Britain. The daily average is 73 miles. The Pedal Britain route passes through the Marches, north to Kendal and Glasgow before heading north east up to John o’ Groats.

There is a further challenge en route. As this is to raise money for an organ fund, I have arranged to give four short organ recitals at stage end points. Entry for each recital will be free but there will be a retiring collection, some of which will also be for the Abbey Organ Fund.

The schedule is:

Sunday 11 August Ride starts from Lands End
Tuesday 13 August Reach Wells. Organ recital at 7.30 in St Cuthberts Church
Thursday 15 August Reach Shrewsbury. Organ recital at 7.30 in the Abbey
Saturday 17 August Reach Kendal. Organ recital at 7.00 in the Parish Church
Monday 19 August Reach Hamilton. Organ recital at 6.00 in St Mary’s Episcopal Church
Saturday 24 August Arrive at John o’Groats

I have started a personal blog for the actual ride and training programme on Instagram @nigelpursey

I have a Just Giving page ( for sponsors to donate, and there will be donation forms in the Abbey and at each recital location

I hope you will be able to support me in this challenge!!

Nigel Pursey
Organist and leisure cyclist