Bear Grylls Backs Ride+Stride

by Gerry Lynch last modified 12 Aug, 2015 04:48 PM

Adventurer and chief scout backs event to raise money for historic churches

Local people are being invited to have a fun day out and help preserve our extraordinary Churches with this year’s Ride+Stride event on Saturday 12 September

Bear Grylls, the famous adventurer and Chief Scout, is one of many local residents supporting the event. The Wiltshire-based personality writes, “Many historic churches, chapels and meeting houses are battling to survive. 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.” 

Felicity Pinder from Fovant is another local person giving Ride+Stride her support. She’ll be walking to support the event for the sixth time this year – she always does the event on foot with a group of three friends. 

Felicity Pinder Press Release.jpg“It’s a lovely day out in the countryside”, says Felicity, “We always go to seven churches and this year we’ll be walking the Nadder Valley, although we have walked as far as Coombe Bissett on previous trips. 

“I love exploring our local history. Many of our footpaths were built so people could get to church and some of them have been walked on for many centuries. I also want to support the Wiltshire Historic Churches Trust, which has helped us keep St George’s Church in the village in good repair. 

Nigel Murray from Enford always gathers a large group from the village to do the trip together by bike – last year there were 20 people in all. 

“We gatherNigel Murray Press Release.jpg at All Saints’ Church in Enford at 10 a.m. and have a very civilised morning’s exercise. It’s a great way both to see the lovely Wiltshire countryside and the wonderful heritage we have in our churches. 

“We always work up a great appetite, so we enjoy a ‘cycleman’s lunch’ at The Swan at Enford before we break up. This year, we’ll be visiting seven churches as far away as Bulford and Durrington.” 

Charles Graham of the Wiltshire Historic Churches Trust said, “Last year we raised almost £60,000 through Ride+Stride, which is split halfway between the Trust and the church nominated by the participant. 

“Our Riders and Striders enjoy the day so much they come back year after year. They range in age from five years old to over ninety. There are prizes for the more competitive among them, including several for under 15s.”

Dorset is also gearinRide+Stride Dorset 2014.jpgg up for Ride+Stride. Dorset Historic Churches Trust Chairman, Simon Pomeroy, said: “The annual Ride+Stride event is a great way for all the family to explore some of our wonderful local churches either on foot, by bicycle, wheelchair or on horseback whilst raising funds to support their local church and the important work that DHCT does across the County. We are very much looking forward to this year’s event and hope to see many people out and about enjoying the Dorset countryside on Saturday 12 September.

“Experienced riders will plot their route to keep well off the busy main roads and all participants will be able use the Ride+Stride page of the Trust’s website to check the map locations of every church – even downloading them to their Smartphone or tablet.

“Last year’s event raised a record £81,000 in sponsorship, with 197 parish communities taking part in the fundraising event. The Trust is hoping that riders and striders from even more communities will take part this year, gathering pledges on the traditional paper forms or through Just Giving on the Trust’s website.” 

For more information

In Dorset, please contact Anna Butler on 01305 260004 anna-butler@hotmail.co.uk  or visit the DHCT Ride+Stride website dhctnews.wordpress.com/ride-stride/

In Wiltshire contact Charles Graham (South Wilts) on 01672 514301 or ctg100@hotmail.com; or Mrs. Mandy Dobson (North Wilts) on 01666 824005 or mandydobson21@hotmail.co.uk. Information is online at www.wiltshirehistoricchurchestrust.org.uk/ride-and-stride/.

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