Priests on Penny-farthings

by Michael Ford last modified 14 May, 2019 03:59 PM

Clergy keen to learn how to ride penny-farthings are being sought by the Historic Churches Trust.

Priests on Penny-farthings

Photo courtesy Richard Croft on Creative Commons

The unusual request has come from the people behind the Ride+Stride annual fundraiser, which takes place this year on 14 September.

Oxford is the venue for the national launch on Friday 31 May – and clergy are being urged to take part in something that promises to be unusual and fun.

Priests who sign up will get the chance to learn to ride a penny-farthing and then (competence and courage permitting) will be able to do a Ride+Stride of their own with a short church-to-church cycle on quiet back roads in the city.Instruction will be provided by world experts from the Penny Farthing Club.

The organisers of an event that helps raise money for the upkeep of historic churches around the country are looking to recruit vicars keen to learn to ride penny-farthings.

They hope collars will be be worn, but as the instructors have expressed concerns about cassocks getting caught in spokes, clergy are being asked to leave them and their albs at home.

The organisers are especially keen to hear from clergy whose churches have received grants from their local Historic Churches Trust or support of any kind from the National Churches Trust (NCT).

As well as being a great way of raising the profile of Ride+Stride, organisers hope that it will be a great opportunity to demonstrate that clergy can appreciate a little silliness in a good cause.

The event is being organised on behalf of Ride+Stride by media and marketing firm Orange and Blue.

Richard Tilley, from Orange and Blue, explained:

"We are sure there are plenty of dynamic and not so dynamic clergy out there who would be interested in this.

"We think it would be very nice if churches and congregations that have had investment from Historic Churches Trusts are represented at this event, but this is for all clergy.

"You don’t have to be super fit to do this. The only real requirement is that you turn up – it would be awful to have TV cameras there, but no vicars – so don’t commit if you are unsure.

"The event is likely to start at around 10am in Oxford and take about two or three hours. You will get lessons in a school car park and then you can take to the roads if you feel confident enough.

"This great chance to publicise a wonderful fundraiser can’t happen without you, so please let me know if you are interested as soon as possible."

Richard can be contacted at .

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