Hundreds of churches opened across Suffolk on Saturday 11th September to welcome a thousand or so walkers and cyclists for the annual Suffolk Churches Ride and Stride Day, when sponsored participants could choose their route around the county. 113 veteran and classic cars also took part in the sister event, Pedal & Drive, leaving from fivedifferent country houses, along six assigned routes, visiting six churches, before assembling at Lavenham.
“ I was extremely pleased that the day went so well and, by the end, the sun was shining too. People have been very generous with their time, organising this big fundraising day, and with their donations for Suffolk Historic Churches Trust,” said Trust Chairman, Geoffrey Probert, as he watched the cars arrive. “I spent the morning going to churches that the cars weren’t visiting and I saw lots of cyclists and walkers, and the volunteers signing people in were pleased with the number of visitors they had already had.”
This was the 40th annual sponsored cycling event, an idea that began in Suffolk before spreading across the country. Last year the day raised £190,000 that was divided between the Trust, to be given in grants to restore and improve church buildings, with the remaining half of the sponsorship money given to the church chosen by each cyclist or walker.
Next year’s events will be held on Saturday 10th September.
(Look at the Ride and Stride and the Pedal & Drive pages for this years photo galleries. The photo competition for Ride and Stride closes on Weds 15th September. Winners to be announced. )