Riding, striding and scooting for historic churches

A TEAM of cyclists pedalled from the Lords “the home of cricket” in London to their own home of village cricket in Wytham in Oxfordshire.

Tom Hollis and his cricket friends about to cycle from Lords to Wytham.

Tom Hollis and his cricket friends about to cycle from Lords to Wytham.

The four men, from Wytham Cricket Club, raised £1,200 for the Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust. They were among hundreds of people in Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire who once again chose to ride bikes or horses or walk around as many churches as possible to raise funds for their respective Historic Churches Trusts.

Tom Hollis, Captain of Wytham Cricket Club, said this was the second year running the cricketers had decided to get on their bikes for the Ride and Stride.
Tom said: “Our route took us out along the Grand Union Canal and then to Stoke Poges, Bourne End, Cookham and Marlow before we started climbing the Chilterns.
Once we’d (with a small diversion in error) crested the hills at Christmas Common we headed back to Oxford via Watlington, Cuxham, Chalgrove and Stadhampton. Highlights included riding through Burnham Beeches and the views of Oxfordshire as we rode down into Watlington.

“I have to admit that as we approached the 60 mile mark we were delighted to see signs for Oxford, and gradually to see the tower blocks of Blackbird Leys on the skyline.”

They arrived in Wytham after six hours and 30 minutes in the saddle. The Friends of All Saints Church had the bunting out and rang the bells as they arrived. “The cold beers that were waiting were very welcome too,” added Tom. “We were pleased with what we raised but we would love to push that figure even higher.” To sponsor the cyclists go to www.justgiving.com/wythamcricket2014. In Radley, near Oxford, a mini event gave young children the chance to walk around the village church or scoot up the path.

The Revd Pam McKellen said: “We have decided to attach a project to it as OHCT is good at helping us.  We are aiming for £2,000 and £1,000 will go to the OHCT, the other will pay for a replacement gate.”
Meanwhile in Buckinghamshire, the MP for Beaconsfield, Dominic Grieve cycled, visiting every church in his constituency. Mr Grieve, who does the ride every four years started at St Thomas, Holtspur and finished at All Saints Bisham. He had cycled about 50 miles.

Dominic Grieve and son Hugo set off from St Thomas's in Mayflower Way Holtspur on a sponsored cycle ride to raise funds for the Buckinghamshire Historic Churches Trust. Photo: Buckingham shire Advertiser.

Dominic Grieve and son Hugo set off from St Thomas’s in Mayflower Way Holtspur on a sponsored cycle ride to raise funds for the Buckinghamshire Historic Churches Trust. Photo: Buckingham shire Advertiser.

In Berkshire a group from Binfield visited churches in White Waltham, Shottesbrooke, Waltham St Lawrence, Ruscombe, Twyford, Hurst and Binfield with a couple going on to Sonning and Henley.
Clive Betteridge, of the Berkshire Historic Churches Trust said: “We also had a team of motor-cyclists who were attempting a round-Berkshire trip from Lambourn in the west to Old Windsor in the east and back by a different route.”

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