Ride and Stride for Dorset and Wilts Churches

by Gerry Lynch last modified 03 Sep, 2013 01:06 PM

Get on your bike or take to country footpaths this September to help preserve and improve local historic churches.

Ride and Stride for Dorset and Wilts Churches

Sherborne Abbey parishioners cycling for Ride+Stride 2012

For 30 years now, churches of all denominations in Dorset and Wiltshire have been involved in what is now known as Ride+Stride to raise money to preserve and improve historic churches. In that period, local people have raised around £2 million for churches in Dorset and Wiltshire, helping historic churches not only to preserve built heritage but sustain a living Christian tradition.

Last year alone, more than £100,000 was raised for local churches.

Ride+Stride is a sponsored bike ride or walk in which people from all over the country walk or cycle between churches, exploring and enjoying the countryside. This year’s Ride + Stride will take place between 10 am and 6 pm on Saturday 14th September.

Supported by The National Churches Trust and in partnership with County Churches Trusts nationwide, Ride+Stride crosses 34 counties. Both Wiltshire and Dorset are particularly rich in historic churches – 34% of churches in our Diocese are Grade I listed and 89% at least Grade 2, and there are many fine local churches of other denominations. That makes Ride+Stride a particularly pleasant affair in this part of the world!

Ride+Stride is a great opportunity to get some exercise in the fresher September air, enjoy looking around some of Britain’s most beautiful buildings, and tuck in to the delicious refreshments that are on offer at many churches.

Money raised by riders and striders is shared half and half between their parish and the local county historic churches trust. All money raised helps sustain churches in our own communities. There are even prizes for the most successful and enthusiastic parishes and individuals.

Bratton's Ride+Stride team in 2012Chairman of Dorset Historic Churches Trust, 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 at the same time raising funds to support your local church and the important work that DHCT does across the county."

The Bishop of Ramsbury writes, “Tea, cake, two wheels spinning: some of my favourite things.  The opportunity of visiting Wiltshire’s beautiful churches, whilst raising some much needed funds for their conservation, makes Ride+Stride 2013  too good to miss.  My only decision: which bike shall I use?  The tandem?  The 1957 Raleigh?  The lightweight road bike?  Should I finally learn how to ride my son’s unicycle?”

For more information about Ride+Stride, and to download the forms you need to participate.

In Dorset, please contact Anna Butler: Tel. 01305 260004, email: anna-butler@hotmail.co.uk  or visit the DHCT website [link has been updated].

In Wiltshire, please contact Charles Graham: Tel. 01672 514301, email: ctg100@hotmail.com or visit the WHCT website.

Or visit the national Ride+Stride website.

Lower picture - Bratton riders and striders in action in 2012.

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