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Riding and striding for churches

by Michael Ford last modified 23 Mar, 2022 05:24 PM

Dorset Historic Churches Trust, one of the county’s biggest conservation charities, has just announced the final result for the money raised towards restoring Dorset’s beautiful and historic churches in the 2021 annual Ride and Stride for Churches.

A phenomenal effort by scores of cyclists, walkers and horse-riders raised nearly £107,000 in one exhausting day – the second Saturday in September. The sponsorship has now all rolled in and the Trust is able to celebrate another highly successful year.  

The Chairman of the Trust John Stokoe thanked all the many people all over the county who took part. “It is great to see people dashing about all round Dorset on the day,” he observed, “and we owe a huge debt of gratitude, not just to the riders and striders but also to all those who so generously sponsored them.” Half of all the cash raised is returned to the parish that raised it, so participation is a winner all round.  

The whole purpose of this effort is to enable grants to be made to Dorset Christian churches of all denominations to carry out repairs and to makes them more convenient to serve their communities. In 2021, despite the difficulties of Covid, over £92,000 has been agreed in grants to 20 churches and over £85,000 actually paid out. 

A number of outstanding achievements were recorded this year, including Peter Williams of Silton who visited 46 churches on the day, and Trevor and Irene Selway who have clocked up visiting 100 different Dorset churches in 30 years of participation in the event. 

Peter, who has taken part for the last ten years explains that it is a fun event. “Visiting churches as part of DCHT’s Ride & Stride event is always a pleasure. The majority of churches around the county are manned by willing volunteers who frequently and very generously offer cakes, biscuits and drinks to participants, which is great for carbohydrate loading. The churches are also a joy to see, even if my viewings are a bit rushed.” 

Trevor and Irene explained how, “During the many weeks of lockdown it was good to use our daily exercise time trying out different routes.” 


This year the Ride and Stride will take place on September 10th. 

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