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.