21 December 2016
Dedicated Riders+Striders raise wonderful sum for restoration of the County’s churches
-Ride+Stride event raises over £80,000 -
Dorset Historic Churches Trust is celebrating after raising a wonderful £80,000 during its annual fundraising Ride+Stride event in September.
Ride+Stride is the main source of income for Dorset Historic Churches Trust (DHCT) and involves some 170 parish and church communities across the County. Money raised during the event helps fund vital repairs, maintenance and restoration work at Dorset’s churches.
Both Ride+Stride novices and experienced fundraisers took part in this year’s event, helping to raise the impressive sum. A joint project between St Mary’s Church, Gillingham and its local Primary School saw eighteen DHCT supporters take a gentle walk along the River Lodden – the youngest Rider + Strider being only three years old! DHCT thanks the local Primary School and Gillingham’s Pioneer Minister, The Revd Eve Pegler, who developed this plan. Plans are already underway for 2017’s R+S.
One 73 year old participant, Alan Neades from Piddlehinton, took part in his sixth R+S and commented; “My 'breathable' waterproof cycling jacket did its job, my shoes had become waterlogged before I reached my first church and everywhere I came across standing water which meant passing cars provided me with an impromptu shower. Nevertheless a great event, I visited 40 churches and covered a fantastic 70 miles. I am sure the hills get steeper every year!”
Filled with fresh coffee and cake from the community Mud Pie Cafe in Okeford Fitzpaine, 13 hardy cyclists from across the UK and Dorset took on the R+S event and cycled from St Andrew’s to Shillingstone, then to the Trailway to St Mary's in Sturminster Newton. East and West Orchards followed before Shroton, where the cyclists were inspired by the internal improvements which had partly been funded by DHCT. A fantastic 28miles were clocked, 10 churches visited, 380metres climbed and 5 hours riding with all Riders + Striders still smiling.
Eight participants started at Hooke, with ages ranging from 12 to 60, they covered 11 miles, visited four churches, climbed many hills and raised a fantastic £320. In Poole, many individuals and family groups walked and cycled from church to church, and also raised an impressive £205.
For the second year, Lulworth and Winfrith Primary School staged a school walk with the older children starting from Dagger’s Gate and the younger ones walking from Winfrith to Chaldon. Their efforts raised £160. A further £1,606 that was raised for St Christopher’s church Winfrith by veteran cyclist Julian Cherryson while Lesley and Shaun Burt, who walked from their home to all four churches, collected £303 for Holy Trinity, West Lulworth. DHCT Trustee Jeremy Selfe raised nearly £300 for St Nicholas’ and £140 for St Andrew’s churches for a grand total by the Benefice of over £2500.
Simon Pomeroy, Chairman of DHCT, commented: “We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who took part in this year’s Ride+Stride event. We are thrilled with the amount raised, which will allow us to continue helping to preserve beautiful churches across Dorset for future generations to enjoy. We aim to donate £100,000 towards church restoration and improvement and this year’s Ride + Stride will make that possible once again.
“The Trust is keen to increase the range of participants taking part in its fund-raising. We hope that the initiatives seen this year will continue to grow as the need for funds to protect our heritage will not reduce. The Trust returns 50% of the funds raised by each participating parish to help it with fabric repair and maintenance. R+S is a great day out for all ages and benefits both the Trust and local churches directly.”
Established by Sir Owen Morshead in 1960, the Dorset Historic Churches Trust is a voluntary run charity that raises funds and provides around £100,000 each year to Dorset’s churches and chapels of all Christian denominations to assist the increasing costs of maintenance, restoration and the improvement of facilities
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Millie James, McKenna Townsend
Bridge House, Pullman Way, Ringwood, Hampshire BH24 1EX