Photographs and news from the Sponsored Bike Ride 2020
Photographs taken by participants in the 2020 Sponsored Bike Ride
The sight of frost on the ground in the mornings is a real indicator that winter is on its way. Although we may have sunny days ahead the sun’s rays will not carry the same warmth as those that fell on our faces throughout the day of the Bike Ride. What a fabulous September day that was. Perfect for cycling, walking, running, riding and driving around glorious Norfolk and visiting its wonderful churches.
We have received such positive feedback from the day. Many of you taking the time to thank us for continuing with the event and expressing gratitude to churches for being open and to those who provided refreshments. Modes of transport included classic cars, a bicycle that belonged to the riders’ grandfather, horseback, electric bicycles, tricycles and tandems! There was even a bus. You ran, walked and swam. You may have heard Canon David Longe on Radio Norfolk telling listeners about his unusual wedding preparation which included a run, sea swim and bike ride with the happy couple. However you chose to take part your participation and generosity has raised a staggering £165,000 and the figure is still rising. It is quite incredible.
We have broken all records, our total boosted by an anonymous donation of £25,000. This windfall couldn’t have arrived at a better time. The ability to organise and attend fund raising events for all charities has been severely impaired by the Covid-19 restrictions. The Norfolk Churches Trust feel particularly blessed that the nature of the Bike Ride leant itself with very little change to the government rules. Organisers, thank you for welcoming participants to your churches and participants, thank you for abiding by the rules. It created a very happy and rewarding day and will benefit so many in the years to come.
The money raised will be shared between your nominated church and the Trust who will give grants to churches making applications for essential building and conservation work. We can’t stress enough how timely this bumper year is. Many PCCs are struggling financially and the Norfolk Churches Trust grants, support and advice is invaluable to help maintain their churches for the community. We anticipate more requests than usual for assistance in the year ahead.
No doubt you will carry your own memories and stories of the day but we would like to share with you a few highlights of the many emails we have received. We think the youngest person to take part was a little 18 month old girl who toddled along hand in hand with her grandmother. There were some other very impressive children who took part including a 6 year old who cycled 16 miles and raised £912.58 and is keen to take part again next year. An incredible 86 year old gentleman who has been taking part in the Bike Ride for 20 years visited all the churches in his benefice and covered 42 miles. The most musical must be the group led by the Opera Alchemist. They covered 40 miles visiting 10 churches and the ‘alchemist’ sang in most. What an unexpected treat for those who happened to be there at the same time.
Numbers of churches visited per person is growing. Visiting 30-40 churches by bike was not unusual this year and we heard from bike riders who visited 72 churches and connected their fitness app to JustGiving which gave a complete running schedule of their journey. However the greatest number of churches visited was by car - 100 churches and they didn’t even drive fast!
Huge thanks from us all for taking the time to send in your stories and photographs. They build a vivid picture of the day and showcase Norfolk’s world beating churches. We are so lucky to have them.
This newsletter was sent to everyone who participates in the Bike Ride. If you didn't get it by email this week, and would like to receive regular newsletters, please get in touch and give us your email address.
We have also been sent a link to a blog of the day by Caroline Symington which you can read here. She visited 10 churches with her friends Susie Self and Kate Cleaver.
Matlaske Benefice decided to do a Triathlon instead of a bike ride. Read all about it here
David Nice always treats us to an account of his journey, and this year is no exception. You can read his blog here
To read the article in the EDP on Saturday 15th August, please click here
The Rt Revd Graham Usher, Bishop of Norwich said: “I am delighted to support the Norfolk Churches Trust bike ride and would encourage you to show your support by taking a ride or drive around our beautiful county. Our churches are sacred and special places - treasure troves of memory for generations of people, where they keep encountering the presence of Jesus in these places’ of prayerful stillness, peace and beauty. They belong to all the community and this is a great opportunity to play your part in their repair and preservation for future generations.”
Norwich Historic Churches Trust - churches open for the Bike Ride on 12th September
For those people riding or walking around Norwich churches, you may be interested that the following churches which come under Norwich Historic Churches Trust will be open on 12th September:
All Saints 10am-5pm
St Clement at Fyebridge 10am - 4pm
St Edmund Fishergate TBC
St Gregory 10am-6pm
St James Pockthorpe 10am- 4pm
St Margaret de Westwick 10am-4pm
St Martin at Palace 10am-4pm
St Mary Coslany 10am-4pm
St Michael Coslany TBC
St Michael-at-Plea 10am-4pm
St Peter Hungate Open
St Peter Parmentergate 10am-4pm
Unfortunately the following will not be open:
St Etheldreda, St John Sepulchre, St Martin-at-Oak, St Saviour, St Simon & St Jude and St Swithin
2019 Photograph Competition Winners
The £50 Prizes for the pictures that the judges liked the most are as follows:
Roger Peacock told us
"Last Saturday I set off on my bike with the target of visiting as many of Norfolk’s churches as possible before 5.00pm. This annual charity ride for the Norfolk Churches Trust has gone on for many years but this year seemed a good time to join in as they have just arranged a substantial contribution towards re-roofing our village church. The weather was spectacular! Clear blue sky, hardly a puff of wind and comfortably warm temperatures made for a cyclist’s dream, and Norfolk is blessed with both a wealth of historic churches (650 of them) and a fabulous network of tiny country lanes to travel between them. I had struggled for a few days trying to plan a route and was extremely grateful when our revered Newsletter Editor passed on his routing experience which I found invaluable (including his tip for the church with the best food!).
The variety of church buildings is breathtaking, from the ancient Norman round towered sites such as Gissing to the brand new modernism of St Henry Morse Catholic Church in Diss, from the simple Baptist Chapels to the most ornate Angel Roofed classicism of the 15th Century."
Message from Charles Inglis, Bike Ride Committee Chairman
As I sit at my desk in April 2020 to write this for the website we are living in a very difficult time. Everyone at the Norfolk Churches Trust hopes that you, your family, friends and local community are well. I have faith that things will have improved by the 12th of September. Our local churches are currently locked and so it will be a huge relief when they are open again for us to appreciate their architectural, historical and religious importance to this county. Like many charities the Norfolk Churches Trust has lost out on many of its fundraising activities and so I hope that we can make this event a bumper year. Many people have been getting on their bikes or walking to take exercise which will be great training for this year’s Bike Ride!
There was lots of good news to come out of last year’s ride. The Bike Ride raised an amazing £94,390 in 2019, which was an increase of £2967 on 2018. The number of people taking part increased by 5% to 567 and the number of places of worship receiving cheques increased from 279 to 293. We would like to pass on an enormous thank you to everybody who took part either cycling, walking, driving or manning the churches. You make a great contribution to the church of your choice and to the trust.
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.