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Ride+Stride - a record result!

by Michael Ford last modified 08 Jan, 2021 08:41 PM

Dorset Historic Churches Trust has announced that its annual fundraising event, the Ride+Stride for Churches held in September, raised an amazing £110,000 – a record amount - in its 60th year.

Ride+Stride - a record result!

John Stokoe, with enthusiastic participant Chris Loder, MP for West Dorset, at Sherborne Abbey

There was some considerable doubt about asking the charity’s members and friends to take part in a sponsored walk, cycle or canter in this challenging year with all its restrictions. But in the end, the outcome surpassed every previous year.

The beautiful and historic church buildings of Dorset are in greater need of support than ever with incomes sharply down because of the pandemic. This heartening result means that more grants can be made to churches to repair leaking roofs, to prop up sagging walls and install better community facilities.

The Trust’s Chairman, John Stokoe explained how delighted he is to announce this result.

“There was a point in the year when we considered calling off the whole event,” he said.

“But we have been blessed with great supporters all over the county and I thank them all wholeheartedly.”

Ride+Stride- a record result- Sarah Mitchell and the Lampson family, Corscombe
 Sarah Mitchell and the Lampson family, Corscombe

The Trust hopes to encourage the move to make church buildings the centres of their communities, especially in rural areas where churches are often the oldest and largest structure in each town or village.

Over 160 parishes all round Dorset took part in the 2020 event, helped by a team of local organisers. Each parish will have 50% of the money raised by its efforts returned directly to its home church for its own use.

Since 1960, Dorset Historic Churches Trust (DHCT) has grant-aided maintenance work for churches and chapels of all Christian denominations in Dorset. Total grants awarded over the last 5 years have averaged over £110,000 per annum. The priority has always been to assist with weatherproofing roofs and stonework.

DHCT’s principal source of funds is the annual sponsored Ride+Stride for Churches around Dorset’s over 300 churches and chapels. In 2019, nearly 175 parishes took part, raising more than £84,000.

In recent years, significant funds have been granted to assist communities to adapt their cherished church buildings for wider use. Further details of the work of the Trust can be found on

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