Cyclists will attempt to visit 64 churches

Community news.
Community news.

Three cyclists will be attempting to visit all 64 Rutland churches during the Ride and Stride event on Saturday, September, 9.

The trio, Ben Findlay, Geoff Beetham and Ryan Henry tried the feat in 2015 and got to 58 churches in the allotted eight hours. At a recent meeting the trustees of the Rutland Historic Churches Preservation Trust lifted the time constraint to make it more possible.

Richard Foulkes, the Rutland organiser of the event, said: “I am amazed that this is possible. We will all be thrilled if the trio or anybody else manages to do this.”

Ben Findlay said: “With the experience of our attempt in 2015, we have tweaked our route and an extra hour should make it possible to do.”

The team have so far raised £175 according to their Just Giving page but there is also a dispute over whether it’s 110 miles or a 120 miles!

The event is held every two years and sees all of Rutland’s churches opened for people to visit by bike or by walking.

This year the trust is also working with Anglian Water enabling you to do a special ‘Ride and Stride’ around Rutland Water.

There are prizes on offer too – for the person (or team) who visits the most churches and for the most outstanding walking achievement.

Riders and striders are encouraged to get sponsored for their efforts - or donate to the cause - and all the money raised will be distributed by the Preservation Trust to the churches most in need of major repair or upkeep work.

Richard added: “You are welcome to get sponsorship for your efforts or simply donate to the cause and in return you get to enjoy some exercise in glorious countryside and visit churches you might not have been to before.”

Refreshments will be provided in nearly all of the Rutland churches and there will be someone at each one to sign your sponsorship form and dish out treats.

Volunteers are also needed to help man the churches for an hour or so during the day to welcome any visitors.

Aspiring cyclists or walkers can contact Richard Foulkes by e-mailing rrfoulkes@gmail.com.

You can work out a route using the specialist ‘Rutland Churches Create a Route’ software available at www.RutlandRideAndStride.org.uk.