Winter Study Day was held on Saturday, 1 February 2020 at Haughley Park. In a packed Barn, the theme was the Abbey of St Edmunds. Speakers included historian Clive Paine on the mysterious St Edmund, Dr Richard Hoggart on “Bury St Edmunds: The Abbey and Antiquities” and Howard Stephens on the Bury St Edmunds Cross.
A Vintage car and a family history society helped to launch this year’s Suffolk Churches Ride and Stride, which will be held on Saturday, 8 September.
Thousands of people take part every September, walking or cycling between churches, or signing in participants at churches, sponsored by family and friends. Participants choose their own route from over 500 churches that are open for the event, as many or as few as they wish. Sponsorship money is divided equally between their chosen church and the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust, that gives grants for repairs to churches and chapels.
“This year we have invited the Suffolk Automobile Club to join in the Ride and Stride event, visiting churches on the day with veteran cars, attracting attention and contributing to our funds, not by sponsorship, but as paying guests. It should all add to the fun of this family event, which is open to all,” said Patrick Grieve, the Chairman of Suffolk Churches Ride and Stride. “Our ancient churches and chapels need constant care and maintenance as the government pay nothing. We depend on the generosity of Suffolk people. Contact your local parish organiser or our website for details shct.org.uk. It is fresh air and fun for the family and a great day out.”
Last year £160,000 was raised by the event, and donations and sponsorship can also be collected via Just Giving.
Piers Hart and his 1929 Alvis Silver Eagle sports tourer, members of Suffolk Family History Society and Ride and Stride organisers met at St Edmund’s church in Southwold, to help announce that sponsor forms and details of this year’s Ride and Stride are now available.
“We are happy to be taking part in this event, as churches play such an important part in family history”, explained Amanda Straderick, treasurer of the Lowestoft Group and Administration Trustee for the Suffolk Family History Society. ”Many of life’s events take place in them: baptisms, marriages and burials. Families often attended Sunday school and other special events. To be able to visit these churches and look round where such events took place is like walking in your ancestor’s footsteps. And long may it continue.”
The annual Ride, which began in Suffolk 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.
Cyclists and walkers can get more details from Suffolk churches or via their SHCT Bike Ride Local Organisers, by phoning 01787 883884 or clicking here.
As Yalda Davis continues her odyssey round Suffolk she has furnished us with a further update.
Dear friends, I would like to invite you to an afternoon concert at Badley church (near Stowmarket and Needham Market) on Sunday 29th April at 4pm. I will play 2 Bach cello suites, No. 5 in C minor and No. 3 in C major.
Entry is free (donations to the Churches Conservation Trust). Refreshments will be provided.
For anyone who doesn’t know Badley church… it is quite something – the music is just an excuse! If you are able, I would thoroughly recommend a spring walk from Badley (to the east) or Little London or Moats Tye (to the west), both are about a mile’s walk. If you wish to drive, the church can be accessed only from the B1113 (the Stowmarket-Needham Market road): a track leads across the fields, also about a mile, and there is plenty of space to park outside the church.
To read Yalda’s account of Badley church and to see photos, in case your appetite needs whetting click here
For information about future concerts by Yalda please click here
Thanks to the generosity of Robert Williams and his family we are delighted to invite you to the annual study day.
The programme will be both interesting and thought provoking. Mark Mitchels, the well known local historian and author will speak in the morning on Parson Woodforde, and in the afternoon Tony Redman, chartered building surveyor and Anglican priest, will surprise us!
As usual, the venue will be The Barn at Haughley Park, near Stowmarket. The day will start at 10:30 with coffee. There will be a hot lunch (including a pudding with custard), followed by the afternoon session which will end about 3:00pm. The cost per person is £12. Bookings should be made via the SHCT office in Long Melford.
The results of our bike ride this year show a total of over £140,000 was raised, with more still to come. This is the best year we have had since 2014, and a marvelous outcome for all those who visited churches and chapels on foot or bicycle on that September Saturday.
Many thanks to all who supported this event by manning the churches and so generously sponsoring the participants. Our ancient places of worship need constand work to the fabric to keep them sound and watertight, and the shocking thefts of lead fom the roofs continue to be a cuase for concern.
Whether churchgoers or not, people in Suffolk love and value their heritage of medieval buildings which provide a focal point for so many communities. Support the ride and join us next year. More information can be found here.