Suffolk Churches Ride and Stride and Pedal & Drive 2022 launched!

Organised by Suffolk Historic Churches Trust (SHCT), Suffolk Churches Ride and Stride, and Pedal & Drive sees several thousand cyclists and walkers of all ages, (and drivers of vintage and classic cars) taking part in the annual fundraising event for the repair and upkeep of Suffolk churches on Saturday 10th September 2022   

Ipswich launch (L-R) Simon Ronan (Ride and Stride chairman), Deputy Pastor Wale, Curtis Blanc, Tessa Forsdike (Local Area Organiser) 

On Tuesday 5TH July the rapper and music producer Curtis Blanc, from the International Church, in Ipswich, launched Suffolk Churches Ride and Stride 2022, at his church in the town centre, along with other walkers and cyclists. Curtis Blanc is the founder of Tisrespect, with over 10 years of music industry experience is extremely passionate about local music and his team are dedicated to building a platform for shaping the positive role models and entertainers of tomorrow.

Pakenham launch (L-R) Edward and Miranda Mason, Simon Ronan, (Ride and Stride Chairman), Chris Burn-Murdoch, Christopher Spicer (Local Area Organiser) and David West.

In the afternoon the sister event Pedal and Drive 2022 was launched at St Mary’s church, Pakenham, near Bury St Edmunds.  

Edward and Miranda Mason (and their dog Poppy) came in their 1931 low chassis Lagonda to join Pakenham to join Bike Ride chairman Simon Ronan, local organiser Christopher Spicer, and representatives of walkers and cyclists.

On 10th September, the Ipswich International Church in Burlington Road will be taking part in Suffolk Churches Ride and Stride for the first time, and will welcome visitors walking or cycling around the town as part of the event.  

“The Churches Bike Ride last September around Suffolk’s many churches of all denominations, both ancient and contemporary, raised yet another record fundraising – being in excess of £205,000. We thank all those who participated and helped make this such a success. The leading area, Saxmundham, raised over £11,000! “ said Simon Ronan, the Chairman of Suffolk Churches Ride and Stride . “Over 400 churches and chapels opened their doors and welcomed riders and walkers, and wheel-chairs users. This is a huge effort of organisation and commitment for which the Trust is truly grateful. We much look forward to the continued support the event has attracted over the years, a sunny day, lots of cyclists and walkers,  and to yet another record. It is a day to enjoy the county’s heritage, a family day out, a day of exercise, discovery, companionship, village and town participation, and lastly, generosity, both in time and donation.”

Cyclists and walkers get sponsors or donations for 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, the Suffolk Churches vintage and classic car rally is held with the cars travelling a provided route, around a selection of churches, ending at Lavenham. 

Sponsor forms are now available in Suffolk churches, and from the Trust website. Donations and sponsorship can also be collected via Just Giving. More details are now available from SHCT Ride and Stride local organisers, by email shct@btconnect.com , by phoning 01787 883884 or www.shct.org.uk

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. 

A list of churches that are open is available on the Trust website, www.shct.org.uk and from participating Suffolk churches. Cyclists and walkers can choose whichever churches they wish, and disability scooters are welcome too. A photography competition for participants will also be held and details are on the Trust website. 

On the same day, the Suffolk Churches vintage and classic car Pedal and Drive event is held. 

“Suffolk Historic Churches Trust is so grateful for the drivers who turn out and help us raise our target £200,000 which in turn is money to help all those who care for Suffolk’s wonderful legacy of church buildings.,” said Trust Chairman and organiser of Pedal & Drive, Geoffrey Probert. “It is the fourth year of Pedal & Drive, which is always great fun with its combination of starting out from historic country homes, the meander across Suffolk dropping in on churches and the rally finale at Lavenham. We hope to see some new cars this year! Entry forms on the SHCT website.”

Car owners should email pedalanddrive@gmail.com

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