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Ready, set, Ride+Stride

Date: 04 July 2014
Dust the encrusted mud off your trainers and oil your bike’s squeaking brakes this September to walk, ride or cycle to help save churches across England (and enjoy free biscuits en route).

The annual Ride+Stride, this year running on 13 September, raises money for the restoration and repair of churches and chapels.

Sponsored individuals or groups map their own route around places of worship, then ride, run, walk or jog round the course.

As an additional perk, many churches offer visitors delicious refreshments and an opportunity to look around.

'Great sense of achievement'

Half the money you raise is given to a church of your choice, and the other half to the Surrey Churches Preservation Trust (SCPT) for churches in need.

Dr Sarah MacKay, from St Mary’s Church, Fetcham, has been involved with the Ride+Stride in Leatherhead ever since it came to Surrey 17 years ago.

She said: “I just think it’s a great chance to visit beautiful churches and go for a cycle ride on a nice day. You get this great sense of achievement by the time you reach your 20th church which feels amazing.

“We’ve really seen a difference in our church as a result of the money from the event. I am fully behind everything the Ride+Stride stands for – how else do we get people interested in church heritage? It’s real outreach by making the church visible and part of the community.”

Surrey success

More than £250,000 has been raised for Surrey churches through the Ride+Stride since 1997, with £21,000 raised last year.

This year’s Ride+Stride event runs alongside Guildford Borough’s Heritage Open Days (11-14 September), during which, buildings of architectural and cultural interest, including churches in the area, are opened to the public.

For more information contact Hamish Donaldson at donaldson@haslemere.com or 01428 644473 or visit: surreychurchespreservationtrust.org.uk.

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