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Against the odds, last year’s Suffolk Churches Ride and Stride proved a resounding success, bringing in a total of £175,000, the highest figure for ten years.  In addition, the Ride and Stride’s sister event, the Pedal and Drive for vintage and classic cars, raised an additional £14,000.

Usually over 500 churches take part in the fundraising day, which is organised by Suffolk Historic Churches Trust.  Not surprisingly, in 2020, fewer churches were open to receive the hundreds of participants, but the average raised per participating church was well up. 

Subject to the gradual relaxation of the Covid-19 restrictions during the year, the 2021 Ride and Stride and Pedal and Drive will be held on Saturday, 11 September 2021.  Please look in the Ride and Stride and Pedal and Drive tabs for more information about this year’s events.                

Nettie Waters and Christine O’Sullivan at Christchurch, Ipswich

Coronavirus update – April 2021

The administration of the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust continues to function during the Covid-19 pandemic, and correspondence, emails and telephone calls received at our office in Long Melford will be dealt with as usual.  We are always happy to hear from members and supporters about Trust-related matters.  In particular, we remain open for business for grants applications (details on the Grants tab).  The deadline for the July 2021 awards is 28 June 2021.  

In order to accommodate the restrictions imposed by the government in response to the pandemic, the Trust continues to keep its normal programme of events under review.  We will continue to update our members and supporters on developments.

Our latest Newsletter – Autumn 2020 – is available on the website, under the Latest Newsletters tab.  The Spring 2021 edition will be published and available on the website during April 2021. 

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Snowdrops at St Lawrence, Great Waldingfield

Churches and Chapels Chat….

We are continuing to circulate our fortnightly e-newsletter to give our members and supporters a spot of cheer and help us keep in touch, while we can’t meet up and hold events.  The Trustees are taking it in turn to create an email with links to their favourite church music, buildings, books etc which we hope you will enjoy.  Any Trust news will be included too. 

If you are a supporter of Suffolk Historic Churches Trust or have become a ‘Friend” please send us your email contact address, if we don’t have it, so you too can receive our ‘Churches and Chapels Chat’.

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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 over five million pounds 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)

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