Bikes, Bishops and Bridget Jones get set to save England's historic churches

Published: Friday, September 2, 2016

 

Over 10,000 people will be taking part in ‘Ride+Stride for churches’ on Saturday 10 September 2016.

Why not join them?  You could enjoy a Psalmathon in Essex, go Biking with the Bishop in Oxfordshire  and visit the Buckinghamshire church featured in the new Bridget Jones film, ‘Bridget Jones’ Baby’

They are just some of the things to do on ‘Ride+Stride’ Saturday, the annual fundraising day to save England’s historic churches.

Over 10,000 people will be taking part in ‘Ride+Stride for churches’, cycling, walking, riding horses and even driving tractors to take part in special events and visiting over 8,000 churches, chapels and meeting houses which will be open specially for the day.

The event will be live on Twitter @RideandStrideUK with the hashtag #rideandstride and is also on Facebook

Heritage at Risk

‘Riders+Striders’ are sponsored to visit as many churches as they can in a day and aim to raise £1.5 million to help pay for urgent repairs to churches, chapels, and meeting houses.

Currently, there are 887 churches on Historic England’s ‘Heritage At Risk Register’ and urgently need external funding support to deal with repairs to roofs, stonework, spires and towers.

Many of the churches on Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk Register’ will be open for ‘Ride+Stride’, including St Mary, Kemp Town, Brighton, a magnificent neo-Gothic Victorian red brick church; and the ancient Saxon-origin church of St Clement, Burnham Overy, Norfolk.

A great day out discovering England's churches 

As well as raising much needed funds to stop churches from crumbling, ‘Ride+Stride’ is the perfect opportunity to discover England’s beautiful and historic churches and chapels,.

Highlights include the Grade 1 listed Collegiate Church of St Mary, Stafford, on the site of the Anglo-Saxon chapel of St Bertelin; and St Lawrence, West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, which has a starring role in the new Bridget Jones film!

The majority of churches will be open between 10am and 6pm, with many running guided tours and providing locally made refreshments including cakes, home grown plums and ginger beer.

The Ride+Stride website at www.rideandstrideuk.org gives full details of how to take part in the event and includes an interactive map with information about the best churches to visit on 10 September

The majority of churches will be open between 10am and 6pm, with many running guided tours and providing locally made refreshments including cakes, home grown plums and ginger beer.

The ‘Ride+Stride’ website at www.rideandstrideuk.org gives full details of how to take part in the event and includes an interactive map with information about the best churches to visit on 10 September

Bear Grylls 

Bear Grylls, Author, Television presenter, Chief Scout and national 'Ride+Stride' supporter said: “Many historic churches, chapels and meeting houses are battling to survive. Roofs leak, ancient timbers rot and medieval stonework crumbles. Now you can help by joining the 'Ride+Stride' adventure, a sponsored bike ride or walk discovering beautiful churches, which also raises money for their repair and preservation.” 

A selection of special ‘Ride+Stride’ events taking place across England:

  • BUCKINGHAMSHIRE

Prams and buggies

People with prams and buggies can join ‘Ride+Stride’ with a brand new short walk of two and a half miles designed specifically for them in Buckinghamshire, starting from St Michael and All Angels’ church, Waddesdon.

  • CORNWALL

Padstow Pedal and Plod

Cornwall Historic Churches Trust is encouraging walkers, cyclists, and horse riders to descend on Padstow for the ‘Padstow Pedal and Plod’, a five-mile route along the disused railway line beside the beautiful Camel Estuary.

  • ESSEX

Psalmathon

Riders and Striders in Essex can drop in on a Psalmathon. The all-male quartet ‘SongCycle’ will be singing all 150 Psalms unaccompanied to Anglican chant at St Thomas of Canterbury, Brentwood. Starting at 7.30am, they won’t stop until they have sung all 2,811 verses.

  •  NORFOLK

Royal Connections

The individual raising the most money in Norfolk will be awarded The Prince of Wales’ Certificate for Fundraising, signed by The Prince of Wales who is Patron of the Norfolk Churches Trust.

Time for Tea

The Norfolk Churches Trust know that no one can ‘Ride+Stride’ on an empty stomach. That’s why they are running a competition to find the church which offers the best refreshments to hungry and thirsty travellers.

  • OXFORDSHIRE

Bike with the Bishop

In Oxfordshire, you are invited to ‘Come biking with the Bishop’ with the Right Rev Colin Fletcher, Acting Bishop of Oxford, who will be cycling 27 miles to visit 20 churches. Bishop Colin said: “Do come and join my party, I hope that all around the county, young or old, will be on their bikes and enjoying a great day out.”

Tractors a-go-go

Not everyone in Oxford is joining Bishop Colin – two vintage tractors will be visiting churches across the county. A 1964 Massey Fergusson 35X and a 1953 David Brown Cropmaster are heading to 25 churches from St Mary’s Great Milton, to St Mary’s Chalgrove. They’re taking along a tow rope as well – just in case!

  • YORKSHIRE

History on your doorstep

Yorkshire’s most historic churches will welcome Riders and Striders on 10th September.

These include the 12th century St Mary's Church in Appleton Wiske, visited by King Edward I in 1299; the ancient church of St Oswald in Kirk Sandall, where legend says that Oswald, the Anglo-Saxon King of Northumbria, lay after his death in battle in AD 642; and St Andrew’s Methodist Church, in Doncaster, which will be illustrating its rich history in "The Centenary Story of St Andrews in 100 Objects".

About Ride+Stride

‘Ride+Stride for churches’ started in Suffolk in 1982, the idea of Judith Foord. Since then, over £33 million has been raised nationally to fund urgent church repairs.

The event is organised by local churches trusts across England and in 2016 will take place in 34 English counties. Places of worship taking part include those belonging to the Church of England, the Roman Catholic Church, the Baptist Union, the Methodist Church, the Quakers and the United Reformed Church. 

You can Ride+Stride in the following English counties:

Bedfordshire; Berkshire; Buckinghamshire; Cambridgeshire; Cheshire; Cornwall; Devon; Dorset; Durham; Essex; Gloucestershire; Hampshire and the Islands; Herefordshire; Hertfordshire; Humberside; Kent; Leicestershire; Lincolnshire; Norfolk; Northamptonshire; Northumbria; Nottinghamshire; Oxfordshire; Shropshire; Somerset; Staffordshire; Suffolk; Surrey; Sussex; Tyne and Wear; Warwickshire; Wiltshire; Worcestershire and Dudley; Yorkshire.

Contact details for counties at: http://www.rideandstrideuk.org/near-you/