Ride+Stride is organised each year by Gloucestershire Historic Churches Trust and early indications suggest some 600 enthusiastic people from over 100 churches took advantage of the glorious sunshine to travel between churches in the county by bike, foot and car. One pair of participants, Chris Witham and Andy Cole cycled over 42 miles and visited 15 churches on their route. Meanwhile, Charlotte and Kate of Charlotte’s Tandems, a charity that lends out tandems to those less able to cycle, saw an amazing 25 churches and chapels during their cycle ride.
Adam Klups, part of the Church Buildings Team at Church House, walked with Paddy and Roger Grimshaw as part of Ride+Stride. Their journey was from Tredington to Tewkesbury Abbey and from Stoke Orchard to Tredington to raise money for conservation work that is planned to wall paintings at Stoke Orchard church. £480 was raised on just this one walk!
Jonathan MacKechnie-Jarvis, chair of Gloucestershire Historic Churches Trust grant committee, said “It was a wonderful day and the weather of course was fantastic. It was lovely to see people coming together to have fun and raise money to help look after the county’s outstanding historic churches. The Trust are incredibly grateful for everyone’s efforts this year and we hope even more people will get involved in 2020.”
The main Ride+Stride event was supported by many other fundraising activities. At St Stephen’s church in Cinderford there was a book reading and brass band performance while at St Ethelbert’s in Littledean supporters rode an exercise bike 40 miles. Rodborough Tabernacle near Stroud offered delicious refreshments at a coffee morning and for afternoon tea. With more sponsored events coming up over the next few months, the final amount of money raised for the Trust will be known in the new year when the Trust will also present prizes for the best individual fundraisers. In 2018 over £42,000 was raised and it is hoped that this will be exceeded in 2019.
Jonathan added, “The funds raised by Ride+Stride make a significant contribution to the grants we can give churches for repair, maintenance and improvements. Any place of Christian worship within Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire and North Bristol can apply to us for help with projects that meet real local needs.” To find out more visit www.ghct.org.uk or follow the trust on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GloucestershireHistoricChurchesTrust/.