Take part in Ride+Stride Saturday
8,000 of some of England’s most beautiful churches will be open for visitors on Ride+Stride Saturday, 8 September 2012, an annual Open Day which raises money to repair historic churches.
Ride+Stride, one of the biggest ecumenical fund-raising events of the year, was started by the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust in 1983. Since then over £29 million has been raised throughout England to support the repair of churches.
Whilst most of England’s 35,000 church buildings are in good or fair condition, a critical number need help. Eight per cent of respondents to a National Churches Trust Survey, published in 2011, said their church building was in a poor or very poor condition.
Urgent repairs would cost an average of £80,000 to those buildings in the sample in need of them.
Ride+Stride supporter, author Bill Bryson said: “No feature of the English countryside is more important, or potentially more vulnerable, than its churches. That's why I am so delighted to support Ride + Stride."
People taking part in Ride+Stride are sponsored to raise money for their favourite church or chapel, as well as for the local Church Trust in the county in which they take part. As well as sponsored cyclists and walkers, also taking part in Ride+Stride will be runners, joggers, horse-riders and mobility scooter users. Of course, it’s also possible to just visit a church and leave a donation.
New for 2012, a special Ride+Stride prayer, composed by The Revd Prebendary David Crowhurst has been issued for use in conjunction with the event.
“Almighty God, in the example of the Saints we have learnt to love you
and worship you, and in the generosity of many generations we are
given our Churches, Chapels and Meeting Houses;
so encourage us in our responsibility to cherish and maintain them
that a lively faith may arise in, and stimulate the praises of,
the generations yet to come;
and call out a spirit of sacrifice and generosity in us all,
especially in support of the annual, national RIDE+STRIDE event,
through Jesus Christ Our Lord. “ Amen.