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Get Ready to Ride+Stride!

by Gerry Lynch last modified 17 Aug, 2017 04:17 PM

Annual event where people get active and raise money for historic churches

Get Ready to Ride+Stride!

Dorset Riders and Striders in action on foot, bike and horseback

83% of people across the country acknowledge the importance of churches for our communities and our national heritage. That makes Ride+Stride, which takes place this year on Saturday 9 September, a great opportunity to raise funds for their upkeep and have a great time doing so.

You don’t have to be supremely athletic to take part: plan a route appropriate to your energy level that takes you to a few churches, have a nice day out with family or friends, and raise some money for your local church and for the Dorset and Wiltshire Historic Churches Trusts, to enable them continue offering grants to churches in need of repair.

In 2016, despite the less than clement weather, £132,000 was raised across two counties by enthusiastic participants with ages ranging from 4 to 85. Money raised is split between the county trusts and a church nominated by each participant.

There is no official route and participants seek sponsorship to visit as many as they feel able to, or for simply taking part. Last year, the more energetic covered over 100 miles and 40 churches, but those who just walked from their own church to a neighbouring one made an equally valuable contribution. 

Wiltshire and Dorset are both ideal counties for riding or striding.  In the big towns like Salisbury, Trowbridge, Bournemouth or Poole, you can visit several churches in a short space of time; or you can opt for tranquil side-roads that take you through beautiful countryside to picturesque villages.

The event presents an opportunity for all the family to explore the history and architecture of churches, and get out and enjoy some of our beautiful countryside; and, if we’re lucky, some of the last of the year’s really good weather.

At St. Mary’s Church, West Dean, you can buy yourself a good breakfast to set you up for the day’s exertions, and many other churches offer refreshments to help you on your way.  The cake at St. Augustine’s, Upton Lovell  has been a highlight in previous years.

Wiltshire also offers small cash prizes for the most successful participants in 3 different age-groups, and trophies (plus extra cash) for the best achieving parishes. 

For more information:

In Wiltshire, contact your parish organiser, telephone 01672 514301, or visit http://www.wiltshirehistoricchurchestrust.org.uk/ride-and-stride/

In Dorset, contact Anna Butler (Ride+Stride Coordinator) on 01305 260004 or anna-butler@hotmail.co.uk  or visit the DHCT website www.dhct.org.uk.

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