Churches and chapels in 25 English counties welcomed cyclists and walkers on Saturday, 11 September as they took part in Ride + Stride for Churches, the annual fundraising day to save historic places of worship.
All money raised will help to repair churches, chapels and meeting houses throughout England. The main threats facing historic churches include failing roofs, gutters, downpipes and high level stonework, with damage often caused by high winds and rain. Over 900 churches are currently on Historic England's 'Heritage at Risk' Register.
Rt Revd. Gavin Collins, the new Bishop of Dorchester, (seen in the photo above (c) Richard Cave) was one of many thousands of people taking part in the fun day out. He said:
"I think we sometimes forget that churches are important to both people of faith and people of no faith."
"In most instances they are the most attractive buildings in their village or town, as well as being the place where some of the most important events in our lives – baptisms, weddings and funerals – take place."
"As well as this, they are increasingly becoming the places where communities in general come together, and this is something that Ride+Stride helps them to do by providing the funding for modern facilities."
Hillary Cakebread Hall, chair of the national Ride+Stride for Churches committee said:
"Raising money for churches is more important than ever at this time."
"Churches rely for their funding entirely on local donations – there is no central funding at all for the upkeep of the building – and the suspension of services during the pandemic has meant that contributions have really dried up."
In 2020, Ride+Stride raised over £1.2 million for the restoration and preservation of the historic churches, chapels and meeting houses.
About Ride and Stride.
'Ride+Stride for churches' started in Suffolk in 1982, the idea of Judith Foord. Since then, over £36 million has been raised nationally to fund urgent church repairs.
The event is organised by County Churches Trusts across England. 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.
Bedfordshire; Berkshire; Buckinghamshire; Cambridgeshire; Devon; Dorset; Gloucestershire; Hampshire and the Islands; Kent; Leicestershire; Lincolnshire; Norfolk; Northamptonshire; Nottinghamshire; Oxfordshire; Rutland, Shropshire; Somerset; Staffordshire; Suffolk; Surrey; Warwickshire and Coventry; Wiltshire; Worcestershire and Dudley; Yorkshire. For the first time, churches in the Isle of Man also participated.
Further details can be found on the Ride and Stride for Churches website.
Make sure to keep checking our website for information on Ride and Stride 2022