The presentations for the 2022 Bike Ride and Walk took place on Thursday 31st August at Prior’s Hall in the grounds of Norwich Cathedral.
Our thanks to the Dean of Norwich, the Very Revd Dr Andrew Braddock, who was on hand to present the awards, pictured with Charles Inglis the chairman of the Bike Ride Committee.
The Dean stated how important events like the bike ride are in keeping our churches open and welcoming for our communities. He also relayed how one of his first dates with his now wife was taking part in the bike ride 25 years ago. Whilst we cannot claim to have played cupid we love to hear how the bike ride can make a difference!
Charles has stewarded the bike ride for the last 10 years and during his tenure has helped the Trust receive more than £1.1 million in sponsorship. He is stepping down this year so let us hope that the 40th anniversary event will see him going out on a high. Thank you to Charles for all of his efforts.
2022 saw the inaugural presentation of the Lord Lieutenant’s Certificate in recognition of outstanding contribution to the event. In another first, two certificates were awarded. Firstly, to Mary Heather who in her 94th year raised £15,000, with half of the proceeds going to Burnham Thorpe, All Saints, where she plays the organ. Mary will be doing the bike ride again this year, but by car with her nephew. Unfortunately, she was unable to attend the presentation, but her certificate will be delivered to her by Charles.
The second recipient was Anthony Meynell, who for his 70th birthday set himself the task of visiting 70 churches on the day. Well, he managed that and two more for good measure, raising more than £10,000 in the process. He told us of the amount of reconnaissance and planning, which sounded like a military operation, involved in such a challenge and how tricky it can be to find some of our rural churches. He expressed his thanks to a friend who started the bike ride at 6.15am with him, to provide the photographic evidence of visiting churches before they officially opened and to his daughter and her boyfriend who assisted with the afternoon session. He also expressed his special thanks to his wife Debbie for her support. After hearing of nonagenarian Mary’s feat, he said he may be tempted to do an 80 for 80 challenge!
Filby All Saints were the recipients of the £1,000 cheque for the Most Improved Church. Attendees from the church included current churchwardens and Martin Moore who had fulfilled that role for 48 years. Treasurer Bernard Chase collected the cheque on behalf of the church. He expressed his, and the Rev’d Jo Wood’s, thanks to the Trust for their support.
He said that the prize would be used to secure an internet connection for the church which would enable them to place the church even more at the heart of the community. Filby will be taking part in the bike ride again this year; but have promised to let another church have a shot at the Most Improved Church prize.
From left to right Bernard Chase, Susan Smith, Vivien Moore, Martin Moore, Trish Durden, and Barbara Gillham
With Charles Inglis stepping down from the bike ride after this year’s event it was also an opportunity to express our gratitude to two people for whom 2022 was their last bike ride. Rachael Dawson has been the administrator of the event for the last eight years. She has been a spreadsheet wizard working out the calculations for the cheques that are sent to the churches annually and has provided all the statistics for the event. Over the years she has received numerous cheques and sponsor forms through her letterbox, and stated her postman is looking forward to a rest.
Ashley Spooner has helped to bring the Trust into the 21st century. Assisting the setting up of our new website and introducing us to the world of social media. He in turn thanked the Trust for being open to trying new forms of communication with its members and supporters.
A big thank you to both of them.
So, until next year when we hope to be celebrating the success of our 40th anniversary event, it was left to Anthony to cycle of into the sunset.