Another Ride+Stride Success

by Gerry Lynch last modified 23 May, 2016 04:23 PM

Dorset and Wilts Riders+Striders celebrate 2015 fundraising for historic churches as they plan 2016 event

Another Ride+Stride Success

Members of the Junior Team of St Peter, Little Cheverell, winners of the Junior Group Cup, with their Parish Organiser, Sophie Hughes, outside their church.

With final results from last year’s Ride+Stride in from across the country, people are gearing up for this year’s opportunity to have fun while raising money for historic churches.

In Wiltshire, 313 participants from 122 churches raised over £51,000 for the county’s Historic Churches Trust in 2015. Their counterparts in Dorset raised a whopping £83,500, a new record, and came from 180 churches.

As always, participants reported a lovely day out. “The early morning rain cleared away in most parts of the county by 11.00”, said Wilts Ride+Stride Administrator, Charles Graham, “and thereafter conditions for Riders+Striders were pretty favourable.”

While a majority of participants are still cyclists, there were some more inventive forms of transport used. Baby Bessie from Brinkworth travelled in a box on her Mum’s bike. Roger and David from Royal Wootton Bassett visited 25 churches on their tandem before a puncture cut short their ride. Margaret, Clive and Janet went on a virtual ride around the whole of Calne Deanery without leaving Broad Town Church (they ‘travelled’ by exercise bike). There were a handful of horses, a tractor, a couple of mobility scooters and at least one pram.

Wiltshire’s youngest participant, six-month-old William from Bratton, was carried by his mother to six churches, and a couple of energetic 83-year-olds, Alan and Keith, cycled to 31 churches between them. Chris, a walker from Urchfont, stopped at one church and met someone he was at school with 40 years ago.

Prizes were presented to the church in each county that raised the largest sum, with both winners being parish churches in the Diocese of Salisbury. With £2,400 raised Sherborne Abbey won the Morshead Trophy from the Dorset Historic Churches Trust, presented at a special party in the Abbey in April.

In Wiltshire, St James’, Bratton, continued many years of extraordinary achievement, with a remarkable 41 participants active, and retained the Brooke Cup with £1,627 raised. Wiltshire also awarded over £400 to individual achievers, a cup for Junior Groups, won by a team from St Peter’s, Great Cheverell, and a t-shirt for all under-15 winners. These cups and some of the prize money have been generously donated by Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville.

This is just the right time of year to prepare an entry for Ride+Stride 2016, which takes place on Saturday 10 September. We are lucky to live in a beautiful part of the world with a wealth of country lanes, bridleways and footpaths – why not spend a day enjoying the glories of the Wessex countryside at the cusp of summer and autumn?

“Many historic churches, chapels and meeting houses are battling to survive”, says adventurer and broadcaster Bear Grylls, who lives in this area, “Roofs leak, ancient timbers rot and medieval stonework crumbles. Now you can help by joining the Ride+Stride adventure, a sponsored bike ride or walk discovering beautiful churches, which also raises money for their repair and preservation.”

The money raised by participants is split 50:50 between their own church and the county trust. The Trusts are non-sectarian and will assist places of worship of any Christian denomination.

To find out more and download all the forms and guidelines you need to participate in Ride+Stride 2016:

In Wiltshire, visit www.wiltshirehistoricchurchestrust.org.uk/ride-and-stride/

In Dorset, visit dhctnews.wordpress.com/ride-stride/

Lower photo - Sherborne Abbey is awarded the Morshead Trophy for fundraising in Dorset.

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