Fundraisers cycle to Norwich Cathedral

20 May 2022
Two champion fundraisers cycling in memory of a much-loved son and nephew have stopped off at Norwich Cathedral on the latest of their pedal-powered challenges which have to date raised an incredible £279,000 for charity. James Van Cleef, from Essex, and Mark Bayliss, from Cornwall, are currently embarking on a cycling tour of England’s 42 Anglican Cathedrals to raise funds for Cancer Research UK in tribute to James’ son and Mark’s nephew, Adam Van Cleef, who lost his life to cancer in June 2018 aged 23.

“We're not cyclists as such, but rather a couple of old boys who can balance on two wheels and have picked up our bikes in memory of a much-loved and remarkable young man,” Mark said.
“Adam’s story is about how he lived and endured. He lived despite his cancer. He continued studies at university. He was the captain of a university fencing team and, though he couldn’t compete because of cancer, loved to encourage his team, and see them do their best. He met with friends, he was involved with his church, he played music and because of his deep love for Rachel they got married, and had six weeks as husband and wife. Adam’s life didn’t stop. Each day was a gift, an opportunity for him to bless others. He never defined himself by his cancer, but always by how blessed he was. This became an example for anyone that knew and loved him.”

Having last September cycled round 21 Cathedrals, from Truro to Bradford, James and Mark are this month ticking off the remaining 21 Cathedrals by cycling from Bradford to Truro.

They arrived at Norwich Cathedral from Ely on Thursday 19 May, leaving Norwich the following day to cycle to St Edmundsbury Cathedral and Chelmsford Cathedral. Along the way they are being accompanied by their support driver Iain Every, Adam’s Godfather.

All three were welcomed at Norwich by the Cathedral’s Canon Precentor, the Very Revd Aidan Platten, and Norwich’s Cathedral’s cycling champion David Clover.

James and Mark have previously also ridden from John O'Groats to Land's End (2018), the Camino de Santiago (2019) and Scotland's North Coast 500 (2020) and this summer they will be embarking on an American cycling challenge from New York to Los Angeles.

To date they have raised more than £279,000 of their target of £325,000 for Cancer Research UK and have received Cancer Research UK's Flame of Hope Award for Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year.

To support James and Mark in their fundraising, visit

James and Mark’s Cathedral cycling challenge comes as cyclists across the country are getting ready to take part in the second annual Cathedrals Cycle Route relay which starts from Newcastle Cathedral on June 6.

CCR cyclists will be arriving at Norwich Cathedral from St Edmundsbury on July 5 and travelling from Norwich to Ely Cathedral on July 6. Anybody who would like to get involved with the Norwich sections of the CCR relay should contact David Clover, Norwich’s cycling champion, by emailing