A Christian minister recently embarked on a mission to pray for a “broken nation” while raising money for foodbanks and struggling families by travelling from John O’Groats to Land’s End on his 26-year-old Vespa scooter.

Reverend Phillip Ingram, from The Lighthouse Christian Centre in Brierfield, towed a large Crucifix along with him on a trailer as he sought to spread his message across the country while raising awareness and funds for struggling foodbanks.

The epic 1,000 mile journey, which started at the top of Scotland on Sunday, April 2, and finished in Cornwall on Thursday, April 13, took Rev. Ingram to nine other destinations along the way where he preached at churches and chatted to locals about struggles they were having in their area.

Lancashire Telegraph: Rev. Ingram in the Scottish highlandsRev. Ingram in the Scottish highlands (Image: Reverend Phillip Ingram/Facebook)

Rev. Ingram, 59, said he wanted to “bring hope” to people in what he feels is a broken nation, given the struggles the foodbank at his church is having with donations – so much so they are having to turn people away because there is not enough for everybody.

He said: “I wanted to bring hope to the nation and to pray right across the nation.

“I feel this is a place full of broken people trying to fix a broken nation. All of us are broken in some way or other, none of us are perfect. We need help and I believe there is hope in Jesus Christ and he’s the one who can fix us.

“I wanted to raise awareness that there is a great demand for donations to foodbanks, especially here in Brierfield. We are struggling for donations and the demand for food parcels has gone through the roof.

Lancashire Telegraph: Rev. Ingram praying at a church in Bodmin, CornwallRev. Ingram praying at a church in Bodmin, Cornwall (Image: Reverend Phillip Ingram/Facebook)

“We’re finding the demand is increasing and families are having to be turned away because we’ve run out of food. It breaks my heart. These are families with children. These are professional people, they have jobs, but they’re struggling to make ends meet. We wanted to see if we could raise some funds for food banks in the area.”

That’s exactly what happened, with Rev. Ingram’s mammoth journey returning £500 in donations which will go towards the foodbank at The Lighthouse Christian Centre, and other local foodbanks too if the money will stretch that far.

This was as much about raising awareness across the country though as it was raising money for foodbanks closer to home, which is why stops were made along the way to visit churches and speak to locals about how they’re finding the current tough times.

Rev. Ingram said: “We did a lot of praying for the nation while we were on the go. From time to time we would pull over and pray for a church we saw on route. We would pray the church themselves rise up and work amongst the community and help them where there is a need.

Lancashire Telegraph: Rev. Ingram posing with his Crucifix and VespaRev. Ingram posing with his Crucifix and Vespa (Image: Reverend Phillip Ingram/Facebook)

“We’d talk to people on the street, young and old, and explain why we’re doing this and get a sense of how they’re feeling in terms of what’s going on in their life, what’s happening in the area.

“I found a lot of young people are very open to hearing what we have to say about Jesus.”

To travel the entire length of the country is one thing, but to do it on a 26-year-old scooter towing a Crucifix is on another level.

Rev. Ingram is also known at Phill The Mod, owing to his love of Mod culture such as the scooters and the clothing, going back to when he left school.

Lancashire Telegraph: Rev. Ingram at the starting point of John O'Groats, ScotlandRev. Ingram at the starting point of John O'Groats, Scotland (Image: Reverend Phillip Ingram/Facebook)

He hasn’t let this get in the way of his faith though, which is why he decided to combine the two as part of his journey.

He said: “When I left school at 17 I knew I didn’t want to be normal. I knew I wanted to be a someone or a something.

“At the time back in 1980 there was a big movement of Mod culture. I took it on very seriously when I knew I wanted to be a Mod, I wanted to be involved in that culture.

“I do get some knockback from people but that’s fine with me.

Lancashire Telegraph: Rev. Ingram with Tony Davies, who accompanied him on the journeyRev. Ingram with Tony Davies, who accompanied him on the journey (Image: Reverend Phillip Ingram/Facebook)

“I was 23 when I became a Christian. As far as being a Mod and a minister at the same time, I don’t behave like I used to before I became a Christian. I’ve questioned this over time and I’ve asked God whether he has a problem with me being a Mod. And the short answer is no.”

Donations to the foodbank at The Lighthouse Christian Centre are still being received. They can either be sent via PayPal using the email address phillip.ingram1963@hotmail.com, or through the Just Giving page.