Super Steff

Steffan is raising funds for Marie Curie in memory of his Taid, Fr Graham Francis

Steffan is no stranger to St Mary’s. When I lived in the house above the vicarage I’d often see him below with his two brothers kicking a ball around in the long vicarage garden, dreaming of Swansea City!

His grandfather or Taid was Fr Graham, my predecessor here at St Mary’s, and the congregation soon got to know the whole of his family. The three children were all born during his time here as Vicar, and it was here that they were baptised. Along with his brothers, Osian and Caian, and his parents Illtyd and Nia they attended Mass here throughout the year but also joined the South Wales Pilgrimage to Walsingham each year.

The Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham was important to Fr Graham and the whole family and, for so many years, he was the organiser of the Welsh pilgrimage, responsible for hundreds of pilgrims.

Fr Graham in Walsingham just a few years ago

Despite being diagnosed with cancer, Fr Graham managed to make two more of those pilgrimages. He died just over a year ago in January 2020 and his funeral was celebrated at St Mary’s, standing room only, every part of the funeral pre-planned by Fr Graham.

The journey to Walsingham is quite a trek across country to Norfolk, a long five to six hour coach journey. Steffan discovered the Shrine was 250 miles away.

With lovely memories of his Taid, he decided upon a fundraiser. Throughout March he would walk, run or cross train for 250 miles.

“I am trying to raise money for Marie Curie after everything they have done for my Taid,” says Steffan, aged 10 years. “I want to show how much I appreciate everything Marie Curie did to make him feel safe and comfortable at the end of his days. And I want to thank them for lots of things.”

“My Taid’s favourite place was Walsingham and we would visit every year. I found out that Walsingham is 250 miles away from their home so I hope to run, walk and cross trainer that distance in March.”

Steffan with his dad, Illtyd, on one of his runs

Steffan has set up a JustGiving page. “If you have any spare pennies to sponsor me I would be very grateful for your donation,” he says.

It costs £400 a day for 24 hours of care in the hospice. “My Taid was there for four days and I would really like to be able to cover the cost of the last two days of his life.” His target of £800 has already been smashed, doubled at the time of writing!

So, well done so far, Steffan! Keep walking, keep running, keep raising funds. We’re all behind you!

If you would like to support Steff on his challenge then you can visit his fundraising page here and where you can also track his progress each day!

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