"Smaller parishes raise the most money"

by Michael Ford last modified 10 Dec, 2018 04:58 PM

This year’s Wiltshire Ride and Stride saw familiar rural church winners, cross channel cycling, an octogenarian horse rider and a record profit of over £60,000.

"Smaller parishes raise the most money"

Charles Graham presenting the Brooke Cup for the best achieving parish to the organisers of the winning church, St James, Bratton

Charles Graham, Administrator for the County’s Ride and Stride said:
“350 cyclists and walkers (plus one eight-year-old horse-rider) turned out on in support of Wiltshire’s churches and St James, Bratton continue to set an example, with more than 40 participants ensuring their stranglehold on the Brooke Cup for achievement.

“For the first time since the financial crisis of 2008, we have raised over £50,000, which with the addition of Gift Aid should take us past £60,000”.

And he said this was all down to the hard work of the County’s small rural churches.

“It is often the smaller parishes that raise the most money: One of the smallest parishes in the county, Tidcombe, raised over £4,000 during the event, with the villages of Compton Chamberlayne, Garsdon, Lydiard Tregoze, Mildenhall, Preshute and Shalbourne all topping the £1000 mark.”

But he said while the smaller churches did well, there was a notable lack of participation from bigger urban churches.

“Salisbury Cathedral did well, but otherwise it would be good to see the big town churches getting more involved.

“It is a pleasurable activity and a relatively easy way to raise money for one’s church. Old age need not be a barrier – walking to one or two churches counts as participation, (and mobility scooters are permitted). This year there were at least a dozen participants aged over 80, one of whom cycled to 11 churches.”

The Junior Group Cup was won for the second year running by the nine youngsters from St Mary’s, Grittleton., while twin seven-year-old boys from Salisbury Cathedral School cycled 20 miles to 15 churches, raising £1,100.

While one enterprising couple took Ride and Stride across the Channel, cycling to 40 churches in the Vendée region and raising nearly £2,000 for their churches in Bremilham and Seend.

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