This article appeared in the Ely Ensign in August 2005 on page 16.
A teddy bear has been travelling around the globe to help parishioners at St Peter’s Chruch, Yaxley, to raise money for a new heating system.
Unlike most teddies who spend their days sitting on beds or tucked under a child’s arm, little William de Yaxley has travelled almost 140,000 miles in a year.
With a little help from his friends, this bear has crossed the equator, soaked up the South African sun and frozen his buttons off in the Antarctic.
After completing his mission, and raising more than £1,000 for the heating appeal, he is now resting his paws and relaxing at his home in Yaxley.
William was too jet-lagged to comment on his adventures, but his travel co-ordinator, Nicky Harris, of Vicarage Way, Yaxley, was happy to help out.
“I spoke to all the people who escorted William on his trips and they have given him a first-class report,” she said. “It’s been a long 12 months, amd I am sure he itching to tell his teddy friends about his great adventures.
“No doubt the lady teddy bears will be crowding around him as he shows off his new suntan.”
When William crossed the equator he was given a special passport to remind him of his adventures.
The intrepid bear visited Florida, Colorado and Seattle, in the USA; Corsica, France and Ireland in Europe, and even went as far as China and the Antarctic.
The Revd Ian Cowley, Vicar of St Peter’s Church, took William on a trip around South Africa.
“He was very well behaved and showed no signs of fatigue,” he said. “We even noticed he was beginning to pick up a suntan.
“He has obvioiusly taken these fund-raising trips to heart and has done a commendable job.”
The Revd Gordon Limbrick, who assists at the church, said, “We are grateful to everyone who has helped with the sponsorship.
“It was a novel idea to accompany William de Yaxley around the world and it seems like a fun time was had by all involved.”
St Peter’s Church needs to raise £13,000 to replace the heating system, which does not work well enough to heat the church during winter. So far they have raised about £3,000.