Ride + Stride a roaring success!

11 September 2012

Ride + Stride a roaring success! photo
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THIS WEEKEND SAW THE 31st ANNUAL RIDE + STRIDE take place nationwide, and riders and striders were out in force on the streets and country roads across the Diocese.

Among the cyclists, horse riders and walkers venturing into the great outdoors to raise money for Hampshire and the Islands Historic Churches Trust was Sir George Young, MP for North West Hampshire, and his wife, Lady Young.

"We were blessed with good weather on the day, and those who went round the Benefice which includes Tangley, benefited from the generous 'cafe' next to the church, which has become a famous watering hole for those taking part,” George said.

Having first taken part in Ride + Stride back in 1997, this Saturday the Youngs met 40 others at St Peter’s Church, Appleshaw, before cycling onto a further two churches.

MPs show their support in Appleshaw and Easton

St Peter’s was not the only church to be cheered on by their local MP with, at Easton, Winchester MP Steve Brine welcoming Ride and Stride participants to his parish church St Mary's, which earlier this year was offered a £3,000 grant by Hampshire and the Islands Historic Churches Trust towards much-needed restoration work.

Steve said: "Sadly a weekend full of commitments meant I couldn't commit to trips between churches this year but I'm pleased I could support the event in some small way.”

The church had previously received a Trust grant from money raised by Ride and Stride in 2008.

Odiham Deanery couple master huge mileage

Meanwhile, over in Odiham Deanery, John and Ruth Stiers from Whitewater Church look set to have visited the most churches, and accumulated the most mileage in the Diocese.

“My wife and I rode our bikes as we have done for the last 15 years, we visited 30 churches and covered 50 miles, all the while being plied with drinks and biscuits. This year featured the best weather we’ve ever seen for Ride + Stride!”

Most creative use of four wheels

Sir Leonard Appleyard, chairman of the Hampshire Archives Trust, and former Ambassador to China, showed age and mobility were no barrier to taking part, being sponsored to make the three-mile journey from Ashley Church to King Somborne on his mobility scooter, accompanied on foot by his wife Lady Appleyard, chairman of Hampshire and the Islands Historic Churches Trust, and their border terrier Charlie.

Between them the three raised nearly £1,000 and were treated to coffee and biscuits on arrival at St Peter and St Paul, King Somborne.

"Our sponsors have been very generous, and we were lucky to have such lovely weather," Lady Appleyard said.

"Charlie, who's 13 years old, is ready to go home for a good long rest!", she added.

And at the heart of the Diocese…

Over 50 churches participated from the Winchester area, and the Cathedral Walking Group were given a cheerful send off by the Dean, the Very Revd James Atwell, as they set out on a 16-mile walk around 18 churches in the city. The group, headed by Canon Richard Lindley, hope to have raised nearly £1,000.

"We had a marvellous day with perfect weather," Canon Lindley said. "The Cathedral itself was visited by nearly 50 participating riders and striders," he added.

£60,000 target

Last year's Ride and Stride raised more than £50,000 towards the repair and restoration of Hampshire & the Isle of Wight's churches and chapels. This year organisers had set themselves a target of £60,000, with half the money raised going to the church or chapel of the sponsored rider's or strider’s choice.

Did you take part on Saturday? Share your photos and stories with us at editorial@winchester.anglican.org