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/ 29 July 2019

Vicar swims relay achievement across Lake Geneva

The Revd Graham Buckle swimming in Lake Geneva

The Revd Graham Buckle, Vicar of St Stephen Rochester Row, recently completed a continual relay swim of the entire length of Lake Geneva, a total of 73km, with a team from the Serpentine Swimming Club.

Graham swam the mammoth relay at the start of his study leave, a period of time he will use to compare how sports groups recruit volunteers and participants in comparison to churches.

The swim attempt lasted 24 hours and 47 minutes. A feat that very few groups have successfully achieved.

The epic adventure across the lake in Switzerland, with a team of six, was only undertaken because of the kind generosity of the pilots and friendly observers of the Lake Geneva Swimming Association (LGSA). The crew very generously provided cheeses and a hot supper, and kept the UK swimmers safe on a support boat. The amazing achievement came about even after Graham had cycled from the UK to Switzerland before the start of the swim.

Commenting on this lengthy swim, Graham said:

“It was an amazing experience and I have very much appreciated the opportunity, through my study leave, to train and complete this epic event. This will enable me to understand why people often choose to take up sports, instead of attending churches. It will eventually lead to further study on how we manage and recruit people to worshipping communities and if there are any comparisons or discrepancies with volunteers in local churches.”

Top image: Revd Graham Buckle swimming in Lake Geneva. Bottom Image: the successful swimming team, after they completed the mammoth 73km swim.


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The diocesan communications team provides support to the network of clergy, churches, parishes and other worshipping communities that comprises the Diocese of London, as well as to the staff teams of the London Diocesan Fund.

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