Reverend takes on Movember challenge

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A SOUTH Downs vicar has donated his top lip to charity, pledging to grow a moustache for the world-wide Movember campaign.

Reverend John Challis, from Upper Beeding, decided to take on the challenge in memory of the late rugby legend Andy Ripley OBE who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2005 and sadly lost his life to the disease in 2010.

A self-proclaimed rugby fan Reverend Challis said that he considered the late Andy Ripley ‘amongst my friends’.

He added: “He gave a hugely inspirational and open talk about his battle with prostate cancer in my parish before he passed away, and I owe him much of my motivation for taking part in Movember.”

Throughout the month of November Reverend Challis and his three team mates will be growing and nurturing their moustaches to raise awareness and funds for men’s health.

Reverend Challis said that as a vicar he had met people who suffered from cancer.

He added: “We men are all too often not prepared to discuss these personal issues.

“I hope that by sporting a ‘Mo’ alongside the Mo Bro’s in my team I can help to raise awareness, support and, of course, money towards the cause.”

He spoke about how he will be using his Mo as a way to get people discussing men’s health at weddings, christenings and other parish events.

Over a quarter of a million people have pledged their support for the Movember Campaign, which sees an army of ‘Mo Bros’ using their moustache to become a walking, talking billboard for 30 days to put the issue firmly on the agenda.

Owen Sharp, chief executive of The Prostate Cancer Charity, said: “Even though on the face-of-it Movember appears to be a light-hearted campaign, it has been hugely successful in not only raising millions of pounds for research into prostate cancer, but also managing to get younger men to start thinking about their health.

“It’s great that Reverend John Challis and his team are joining me and thousands of men across the UK in ditching the razor in support of The Prostate Cancer Charity.”

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