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Recognising Huge Charity Efforts

by Michael Ford last modified 27 May, 2022 05:35 PM

As we emerge from the limitations of the Covid pandemic, the Dorset Historic Churches Trust has been able to catch up with recognising the last three years of huge fund-raising efforts in the Annual Ride+Stride for church buildings.

Each year, the parish which in the opinion of the trustees has made the most impressive contribution to the event is awarded The Morshead Trophy, which commemorates the founder of the Trust in 1960, Sir Owen Morshead. 

The winner for 2019 was Sturminster Marshall. 16 riders from the village raised £1,841, putting them in the exclusive club of parishes raising over £1,000. At a presentation in The Old School in Sturminster Marshall on 27th April, 2022, Chairman of the Trust, John Stokoe thanked all the active riders and striders who had taken part in the event and said how good it was to recognise their achievement despite the Covid-enforced delay. 

2020 winner was the parish of Hilton and Ansty who raised an amazing £2,873.11 – an impressive result from a relatively small community. Their presentation was made at All Saints Church on 20th April 2022 by the Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset, Mr Angus Campbell. He congratulated the effort of those involved and added how impressed he was that large and small parishes can all take part in the Ride+Stride event. Organiser Charles Hunter said that the village was honoured to be presented with the 2020 trophy. He added, “For the riders the event is pure pleasure; a great day out of exercise and the pleasure of seeing the most beautiful Dorset churches.” 

The most recent winner is the village of Leigh, from where a team cycled 45 miles, visited 21 churches and raised £2,439. At a ceremony on 24th April, 2022, at St Andrew’s Church, in the presence of Chris Loder MP, Alaistair Cumming from Leigh was presented with the trophy by Sir Philip Williams, Vice-President of the Trust. Sir Philip congratulated the whole Leigh team and spoke briefly on three themes: thank you, congratulations and the importance of volunteers. Trust Chairman, John Stokoe, explained that everyone is a winner in the Ride+Stride, as half of the money raised for grant-making is returned immediately to each parish for its own use. 

The overall proceeds of the Ride+Stride were £88,000 in 2019, a record-breaking £113,000 in the locked-down year of 2020 and over £107,000 in 2021. DHCT is a volunteer-led charity, which allows all the funds to be used for the repair of churches of all denominations in the county of Dorset 

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