On your marks for the 2017 Ride and Stride


AS fans gear up to watch the pro cyclists speed through Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire during the Tour of Britain race, another high profile to raise money for historic churches will be taking place across the Diocese of Oxford. The annual Ride and Stride will take place on Saturday 9 September when people of all levels of endurance and enthusiasm can pedal, hike or horse ride around as many churches as possible.

Ride and Striders at St Katherine’s in Berkshire in 2016

This is an event which appeals to churchgoers and non-churchgoers alike, anyone in fact who enjoys a good walk, cycle or horse ride. Schools can take part or perhaps get involved in drawing up cycling and walking routes around the local area. Youth groups, walking groups or exercise classes or cycling groups all might enjoy the challenge and for other, not so active, groups and individuals there are lots of ways to help. Organisers need volunteers to man churches, provide refreshments and sponsor participants. Routes don’t have to start or finish at your local church and can be as long or as short as you wish, but half of what you raise from sponsorship will come back to the church of your choice.

For historic churches trusts, this is the major fundraiser of the year and brings in vital funds for churches in need of repair. It is a national event which offers everyone who appreciates the beauty and history of our local churches the chance to get out and visit as many as they can, raising money in the process to help save them for future generations.

Last year, thousands of participants battled the rain to support Ride+Stride. They cycled, walked, pushed buggies, rode horses and even drove vintage tractors between churches and raised thousands of pounds in the process. Oxfordshire fielded their youngest every participant, three-month old Sebastian, (aided and abetted by his mum) while at the other end of the spectrum, 94-year-old Muriel walked to twelve churches around Oxford.

Your local churches trusts – Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire – are hoping for an enthusiastic turnout this year. Information is available on their websites or through the network of county and local church coordinators or via the national Ride+Stride website www.rideandstrideuk.org.

Joint patron, the Rt Revd Andrew Proud, Bishop of Reading, says: “Wherever you go in our counties, on hilltops, nestling in the folds of hills, or on the bends in rivers, you will find a beautiful, historic church, waiting to be discovered. Ride+Stride is a wonderful way to enjoy some of our beautiful countryside and discover some of these gems for yourself. Please help us keep our churches open, not only today, but for our grandchildren’s children, too.”



This is an older post. Please note that the information may not be accurate anymore.