The annual Ride and Stride For Churches, organised by Hampshire and the Islands Historic Churches Trust, will return to the South Coast on Saturday 14th September.
The event aims to raise money for the upkeep of over 900 historic church sites which date from the 8th to the 20th century. The Churches Trust, a registered charity, has provided loans and grants for the maintenance and repair of such buildings amounting to over half a million pounds since 1988. Over one third of these historic sites have benefited from the charity’s work, which involved accepting donations and organising the annual Ride and Stride.
Last year’s event raised a record £65,000 for repairs and restoration, ensuring that British Christian history can be accessed by future generations. The Trust has been appealing for a greater number of donations this year as a result of grant applications doubling in the past year. Donations of any amount can be made by individuals on the Trust’s Virgin Money Giving page here.
On the Saturday of the event, over 400 churches of all Christian denominations in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will open their doors to the general public, allowing visitors to have access to ancient bell towers and traditional interior design work in often beautiful settings.
The hub of Hampshire’s regional Ride and Stride event will be the City of Winchester, in which over 30 historic churches will be open, including the Quaker Meeting House in Colebrook Street, the famous Cathedral where writer Jane Austen rests, and the University of Winchester Chapel.
The event will take place across the country, and is estimated to match last year’s record fundraising figure of over £1 million nationwide for struggling, centuries-old churches.
The Church of St Martin in #Canterbury is the first church founded in England, as well as the oldest parish church in continuous use. It is one of many historic churches across #Kent participating in #RideandStride on September 14. Full list here https://t.co/2bBppxF5kr pic.twitter.com/0WNHOUO242
— Ride+Stride (@RideStrideUK) August 28, 2019
Participants in the Southern Ride and Stride event can sign up on the Virgin Money Giving page here, and further details can be found here. This year’s Ride and Stride For Churches hopes to raise a record amount of money for historic churches across the region in response to the increasing demand for support, and church visitors are encouraged to travel however they wish, whether by foot, bicycle, car, or public transport.