29 October 2014
Will you grow a Holy Mo?
Churches across the UK are joining the Movember challenge by growing a moustache during the month of November to raise money for men's health charities.
During Movember 2013, churches raised £30,000 for the Holy Mo Challenge and it's hoped even more follicly spectacular displays will be seen in pulpits, congregations and parishes this year.
The annual, month-long fundraiser is organised by the Movember Foundation to raise funds and awareness for men's health, specifically prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health.
The money goes to support charities such as Prostate Cancer UK and the Institute of Cancer Research.
To date, more than four million participants, known as Mo Bros and Mo Sistas, have raised over £345 million and in 2013 over one quarter of a million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas signed up to show their support in the UK.
Teams and individuals from church communities can enter themselves into the Holy Mo Network Challenge for the honour of being named the champions of the Holy Mo.
Last year, the Mary's Hairies team from St Mary's Anglican Church, Nantwich, won the prestigious title, raising the most sponsorship during the month.
John Marshall of Carrickfergus Vineyard Church, Northern Ireland, received support during his treatment for testicular cancer from charities funded by Movember and so joined his own Holy Mo team in last year.
"I am so thankful for the support I received during my cancer treatment and recovery and for the awareness that Movember and the Holy Mo Challenge bring to a disease which is often not spoken about," John said.
"The opportunity to talk openly about it in our churches and wider communities can help to transform and save other lives just like mine."
The Holy Mo Challenge is designed to let faith communities' "show off their renowned capacity for facial growth".
It gathers together leaders, places of worship and communities to help achieve Movember's vision of having an everlasting impact on the face of men's health.
The Movember Foundation said they were "bowled over" by the engagement of churches last year.
Laura Mair, head of corporate engagement at Movember says: "It was an incredible achievement to generate such support and finance in the first year of a new Challenge and we're excited to see even more impressive clerical follicles this year."
If you would like to enter the challenge and be in with the change of knocking Mary's Hairies off the top spot for the holiest mo, visit the Movember website here.