It is a special year! Suffolk Historic Churches Trust is 50 years old in 2023. The Anniversary is being marked by several special events this year including a celebration service at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, that was held on Sunday 17th September.

Invited by the Lord-Lieutenant of Suffolk, Clare, Countess of Euston, the Patron of the Trust, were two representatives from every historic Suffolk church, chapel and meeting house, the High Sheriff of Suffolk, Mark Pendlington and HHJ Martyn Levett, Resident Judge.

The service began with a Procession led by two bikes and some of the cyclists responsible for most of the £10m (in today’s money) raised and distributed by the SHCT over the last fifty years, Ecumenical and Clergy representatives, church historians, church architects, and SHCT Trustees/, Ride and Stride organisers, choir members, and children from Sexton’s Manor School, in Bury St Edmunds.

There is a gallery of photos from the occasion HERE

For more details of our plans for the anniversary click HERE

A plaque with the new carved pew ends at Hitcham church.

Exciting news! Our special Queen’s Jubilee Grants are coming to fruition- and we’d love to see more or your completed projects. Here are just a few we have received so far…..https://shct.org.uk/2023/10/12/jubilee-grants-coming-to-fruition/

Stop Press: The October Grants have been awarded – to twelve Suffolk churches. Click Here


Suffolk Churches Ride and Stride Chairman Simon Ronan, and his family, at Hemley All Saints.

THANK YOU to all our riders and striders, classic/vintage car drivers and the wonderful volunteers who made our BIG FUNDRAISING DAY so special! We hoped you had fun and didn’t get too hot!!

For more details of how to pay your sponsor money over to us, look at this years Ride and Stride photos or to send in your entries to the Ride and Stride photography competition 2023 ……CLICK HERE!

For photos of this year Pedal & Drive vintage or classic cars … CLICK HERE


‘Stand on the Faith’ is a brand new song written by Andy Rayner to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Suffolk Historic Churches Trust. It is available on Youtube and on all audio streaming platforms. 

For more details CLICK HERE.



Led by the inspiration and determination of the 11th Duke of Grafton and supported by the Hon. Jill Ganzoni, Norman Scarfe (one of Suffolk’s most eminent historians), and Alfred Williams of Haughley Park, the Trust was launched in December 1973.

Since then the Trust has raised and distributed the equivalent of ten million pounds (in today money) to help with the repair and maintenance of these churches.  The Trust is non-denominational and all churches, chapels and meeting houses are eligible to apply for grants.

The Trust derives its income from membership of its Friends organisation, donations, grants and legacies and in particular from the annual sponsored Ride and Stride, held in September each year.

Suffolk’s Churches

The landscape of Suffolk would look very different without the 500 medieval churches the county can be so proud of.  Then there is the role of non-conformist chapels and meeting houses in our history.  Even non-worshipping members of communities appreciate that it is worth the time and money involved in preserving churches and chapels for future generations.  (For more details of why Suffolk’s religious buildings are important to the local economy, click here)


The next Suffolk Churches Ride and Stride, and Pedal & Drive will be held on Saturday 9th September 2023

There are photo galleries 2022’s Ride and Stride and Pedal & Drive, including the winners of the photography competitions, on the relevant sections of this website:

They are Here for Ride and Stride and Here for Pedal & Drive. Please let us have your sponsor money if you have not already done so. (Details are on the Ride and Stride section of this website.)

The annual Sponsored Ride and Stride is a national event, and every second Saturday in September cyclists and walkers all round the country are out making money for their local county Churches Trust.

The idea started in Aldeburgh in Suffolk 40 years ago, and consistently Suffolk has headed the table of funds raised.  The Ride and Stride is the main source of income to Suffolk Historic Churches Trust to enable it to make grants to churches and chapels of all denominations towards repair and restoration costs.

Ride and Stride is run entirely by volunteers and is inter-denominational, with participants sponsored for each place of worship visited between 9.00am and 5.00pm on Ride and Stride Day or with a donation, regardless of the number of churches visited.

The money raised by each cyclist or walker is shared equally between the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust and the place of worship nominated by the participant.

As important as the participants are the many volunteers who give up the day to man the churches and chapels and sign in the cyclists and walkers as they arrive.  Hundreds of places of worship are manned during the day and that takes quite a team of volunteers!  It is a real community effort that is the lifeblood of the Trust.

In Suffolk we also hold a Pedal & Drive event on the same day, a car rally for vintage and classic cars.

Photo Galleries 2021 and 2022 can be seen on the pages for Ride and Stride and on Pedal and Drive

Herringswell church ( photo by Roberta Bennett)

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