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Suffolk churches Ride and Stride returns

PUBLISHED: 12:10 24 August 2020 | UPDATED: 12:28 24 August 2020

Cyclists and a vintage car at Holbrook church on the 2019 event. Picture: HELEN LANE

Cyclists and a vintage car at Holbrook church on the 2019 event. Picture: HELEN LANE

Archant

Cyclists, walkers and historic cars will be setting out across Suffolk on a sponsored journey from church to church to raise money towards their upkeep.

Riders at St Edmundsbury cathedral in Bury St Edmunds last year. Picture: RACHEL SLOANERiders at St Edmundsbury cathedral in Bury St Edmunds last year. Picture: RACHEL SLOANE

The Suffolk Churches Ride and Stride 2020, and its sister event Pedal and Drive for vintage and classic cars, will take place on Saturday September 12.

Participants choose their own route from more than 500 churches, which are open for the event, cycling, walking, or driving to as many or as few as they wish.

Proceeds will be shared between the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust (SHCT) for future grant giving, and the participant’s chosen church.

Patrick Grieve, the chairman of Suffolk Churches Ride and Stride, said: “Churches and chapels are now open for services provided Government guidelines for sensible health precautions are followed, and two or three people cycling together in the Suffolk countryside or walking in our towns should be perfectly safe.

Cyclists and drivers choose their route and call at churches along the way to raise money. Picture: HELEN LANECyclists and drivers choose their route and call at churches along the way to raise money. Picture: HELEN LANE

“Not all churches may be open for Ride and Stride this year but if a church is not manned, riders and walkers will simply log the name of the church themselves.”

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Last year the event raised £137,000 for the appeal.

Geoffrey Probert, chairman of the SHCT, said: “There has never been a more important time for our church finances.

“Fundraising to repair these beautiful Suffolk churches has been halted because of Covid and this is a way to help them.”

“Throughout the year we give grants to help with the restoration, repair and to improve facilities, in churches and chapels.

“It is often the only community building available for local people to use for events, as well as church services. Grants have continued to be given, even in the lockdown.”

Sponsor forms are now available and cyclists and walkers can start deciding their route, ready for the event on Saturday 12 September.

For more details of Ride and Stride or Pedal and Ride contact the local organiser in your area via your local church or via the Trust website www.shct.org.uk.

Organisers say the event will be subject to coronavirus restrictions and partiipants should check on the website closer to the time to ensure it still going ahead.


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