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Bishop rows 24 hours to raise money for fuel-poor pensioners

by Hannah Tooley

Bishop Ed Condry, Suffragan Bishop of Ramsbury in the Diocese of Salisbury and the former Canon Treasurer at Canterbury Cathedral in the Church of England, told Premier that "I'm going for the world record for the longest continuous row."

He began rowing at 6am on Friday and said that he hopes to make it through the whole 24 hour row: "I'm fairly fit and I've done a lot of long distance things before, but it's a bit like driving Morris Minor around the world when you're 62 - you can do it in theory but it's quite likley to break down!"

Bishop Ed is rowing to raise money and awareness about fuel-poor pensioners as winter approaches, he told Premier that in Wiltshire: "It's estimated 300 people die every winter because they can't afford their fuel bills - that is appalling."

His row is for the Wiltshire Community Foundation's Surviving Winter campaign, which helps elderly people with their fuel bills, Bishop Ed will set out to break the record for the longest continuous row by someone in his age group.

The current record for a male aged 60-65 was set in 2014 by a US oarsman at 16 hours and 58 minutes and 34 seconds.

The challenge is taking place in Warminster gym on a Concept2 rowing machine, which is the international standard, used by Olympic and world oarsmen and women for training.

Ed has also rowed the English Channel, as well as the full length of the Thames twice.

Bishop Ed said that: "According to statistics over 30,000 Wiltshire households live in fuel poverty, having to spend more than 10 per cent of their annual income in order to keep their home warm enough.

"That thought should give me plenty of motivation when I hit the wall."

Listen to Premier's Alex Dibble speak to Bishop Ed Condry here:

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