As I sit at my desk in April 2022 to write this article, I am struck by how lucky we are to live in Norfolk with its beautiful countryside, without the terrible horrors of war ravaging Ukraine. It has made me realise that one cannot take peace for granted and one has to fight to protect the things one loves. In Norfolk we are blessed with extraordinary church buildings that face their own challenges and we hope that you will support a church of your choice and the Norfolk Churches Trust by taking part in this year’s Bike Ride.
Last year the Bike Ride produced another amazing result. An extraordinary total of £130,156 was raised by 711 gallant participants. This means the Bike Ride has raised over £4 million since its inception in 1983. This money has made a huge difference to preserving Norfolk’s iconic and beautiful churches over the years. A total of 307 places of worship received cheques last year. We would like to pass on an enormous thank you to everybody who took part either cycling, walking, driving or manning the churches. You have made a great contribution to the church of your choice and you enabled the Trust to continue to give grants last year when almost all other fund-raising activities had been cancelled.
Win £1,000 for your Church
This year we are again offering a £1,000 prize for the most improved church. In other words, the church which shows the most improvement in its Bike Ride fund-raising compared to last year. This is an opportunity to make a substantial difference to your church’s finances. See the website for more details.
A few statistics, highlights and results of competitions from last year:
• Harry Steel from Baconsthorpe won the Prince of Wales Certificate by raising the most money.
• Brampton, St Peter, was the most improved church and will receive a cheque for £1,000.
• Keith Gilbert was the top cyclist, having visited a staggering 61 places of worship.
• Gwen Spooner, Jenny and Richard Holcombe tied as top walkers.
• Three people won £50 cheques for their photographs and had their pictures published.
• Hempstead, All Saints, was the top church this year, with Baconsthorpe, St Mary, Burnham
Thorpe, All Saints and Burgh Castle, St Peter and St Paul coming 2nd, 3rd and 4th.
Please see the website for details of the Prince of Wales Certificate, featured routes and activity
sheets. Please send us any photographs you take during the day and we will send the three we like most £50 and hopefully have them printed in the Eastern Daily Press. Do check the Wall of Fame for the people who visited the most churches.
We want to promote Just Giving as a very good way of raising sponsorship
money without having to ask friends and family face to face, which many people find difficult.
We understand that not every church is going to be able to have people available to sign
participants in and provide refreshments. We know from feedback that participants respond well
to an open door, a cheery note and the ‘Record of Participants’ being left in a prominent place.
We are making a huge effort to promote the event with road signs, media, contacting organisations, schools etc., but nothing beats friends persuading more friends to enjoy the day together. Please could we also emphasise that the success of this event is largely down to lots of people making small contributions which add up to a large amount of money to help save our iconic and historic Norfolk churches.
Please keep up the good work and THANK YOU!
Can I take this opportunity to recommend becoming a member of the Trust. Members have the benefit of being invited to some fascinating talks and events run by the Norfolk Churches Trust. If you’d like to find out more, go to our Membership page.