Monday 28th June 2021, broadcaster and Suffolk resident Bill Turnbull, a vintage car, (a 1925 12/50 Alvis, called Belinda), and Suffolk Historic Churches Trust walkers and cyclists, launched this year’s Suffolk Churches Ride and Stride and Pedal and Drive event, which will be held in September.
Held at St John the Baptist Church, Badingham, the launch was held to announce that full details are now available for the several thousand cyclists and walkers of all ages, (and vintage and classic cars drivers) who will take part in the annual fundraising event on Saturday 11th September 2021.
Against all the odds, the day-long event was held in September 2020 and the sponsorship money raised was the highest for ten years at £190,000
Broadcaster Bill Turnbull said,
“This is a very good cause, and it combines two of the things that Suffolk should be proud of – countryside that people can cycle around and terrific churches. Churches need the help and it’s a fun way to raise funds. I’m not in the position to cycle at the moment but, as soon as I can, I’m going to get on a bike and do it myself. It gets people out in the fresh air and, fingers crossed, it will be a lovely day ..and people will learn a lot too.”
Cyclists and walkers get sponsored on their journey around some of Suffolk’s churches, choosing their own route, long or short. The money they raise help save this wonderful part of our history, with half going to the Trust to give out as grants for church buildings, and half to the cyclists/walkers chosen church. Hundreds of churches will be open to welcome participants on Saturday 11th September.
Also, on the same day, a vintage and classic car rally is held with cars travelling a provided route, around a selection of churches.
Christopher Banham created a lot of interest in Badingham, when he brought his 1925, 12/50 Alvis called ‘Belinda’, to the launch. It was bought by his family in 1933 for £ 33. The launch was held at St John the Baptist church, as they have a huge restoration project underway, and have received a grant towards the cost, from Suffolk Historic Churches Trust.
Sponsor forms and full details for Ride and Stride and Pedal and Drive are now available in Suffolk churches and from the Trust website. Donations and sponsorship can also be collected via Just Giving.
“After the unexpected success of last year, the challenge this year is to repeat or better it. Our churches and chapels need the funds, and after lockdown we all need the fresh air and exercise,” said Patrick Grieve, the Chairman of Suffolk Churches Ride and Stride.
The annual ride, began in Suffolk in 1982 but has now spread across England, appeals to families, local history lovers, keen cyclists and walkers, church supporters and those who just enjoy an annual trip around the villages and towns of Suffolk.