A great Christmas present for the Norfolk Churches Trust – the latest annual Bike Ride has topped last year’s total.

A great Christmas present for the Norfolk Churches Trust – the latest annual Bike Ride has topped last year’s total.

A total of almost £92,000 has been raised to date – beating last year’s total of £91,495.97 – by almost £450.

With final contributions expected to be submitted in the next few weeks, the overall total will be higher but might not exceed the record total of £100,066 raised in 2016.

“We have beaten last year’s total which is great news. I think it is the first time for many years that we have managed to show an increase,” said event organiser and north Norfolk farmer Charlie Inglis, who is a trustee of the charity.

The annual Bike Ride has raised more than £2.8m for churches of all denominations in the past 33 years. A total of about 280 churches and chapels will benefit from the fund-raising event as hundreds of volunteers cycled, walked, or drove to churches across the county in September.

Mr Inglis said that fund-raisers are encouraged to submit their returns by mid to late January at the latest. Then the final total raised will be known.

The Norfolk Churches Trust is looking to boost membership. For a monthly cost of about £2.50, supporters can become Friends of the Norfolk Churches Trust. Norfolk has the largest concentration of medieval churches in the world with more than 650 spread across the county.

Annual membership costs £30pa or £45pa for joint – see the website for details.