Fundraising and News

Bike Ride 2019 will be on Saturday 14th September – make a note of the date!


Wobbles, Tigers and Reminiscing – an Australian’s Sponsored Bike Rider Adventures”

After many years of wanting to, I finally got to ride in a Sponsored Bike Ride.

Back in the eighties my father was an organiser of the ride and I would return home from Australia to find tables covered in leaflets, stickers, posters etc all waiting to be sorted and dispatched around Norfolk. I thought then what a great idea and what fun it would be to partake.

Several decades later, I happened to be in Norfolk at the time of the ride and I intrepidly got on my bike. (The last time I had ridden a bike I had fallen off and ended up in an ambulance). I was accompanied by very good friends Henry & Jill who have done all but two of the bike rides since they started, my son Charles and a friend Laurence. This made for a great support team.

The first few chosen churches were the ones nearby; Stokesby, Runham and Thrigby. The idea being that I could pull out at any point and be close to home. After a few wobbles I started to enjoy myself and decided to go a bit further. On to Filby, Fleggburgh and Clippesby we went. The weather was turning, the sun had gone and rain was looking probable. We continued on to Thurne, Repps, Martham and Rollesby where we stopped for lunch at the Tacon’s Farm Shop. It was then on to home arriving wet as it did rain, tired and with a great sense of achievement as I had ridden over 30 miles!

It was such fun and what made it easy was that the ride was broken every few miles when we would stop at a church, get off our bikes, stretch our legs, looked inside the building, talked to the locals and I could forget about the endurance test I had set myself. Thank you to those who welcomed us in to the churches and gave us refreshments. Much appreciated.

It was lovely to revisit churches not seen since my childhood. The last time I had visited Runham Church it was closed and the BBC were filming ‘Some Mothers do have ‘em’. (Frank Spencer played by Michael Crawford was dressed as an angel and being propelled through the roof as part of the Christmas episode 1974). At Thrigby, we had our sheets signed at the Wildlife Park next door and we got to see tigers, cranes, storks etc. through the fence. As a child I spent some time in Filby Church as I was friends with the rector’s children and we would tag along, having fun ringing the bells, secretly tasting the unconsecrated communion wine, eating wafers, playing hide and seek etc. it was lovely to return and find that the bells are still rung.

It is great to see the churches looking well-loved, active, clean, heated and with cushioned pews, audio systems and in most cases toilets and kitchen spaces. Churches these days are very much more welcoming and useable than the cold, dark, hard-seated, hard-to-hear places of my childhood. We visited a relatively few churches but nonetheless there was plenty to see in the way of variations in architecture, stained glass windows, naves, chancels, lecterns, fonts, pew ends and memorials often dating back as far as mediaeval times.

What a lot of history lies in these churches. Each one has so much to offer with insights into lives and times past and present. Maintaining them is important to the community, the district and the country.

Thank you to all those involved.


Anna Anderson, Hay, Australia


2018 Photographic Competition – Winners announced!

Hundreds of riders took part in the annual Norfolk Bike Ride last September and raised a total of more than £91,000.

And of the 539 fund-raisers taking part, many took their cameras to enter the 2018 Norfolk Churches Trust’s Bike Ride photo competition.

Sponsors Brown & Co awarded three £50 prizes as the entries were judged by an independent panel, supported by former NCT chairman, Ian Lonsdale.

Peter Sheppard, chairman, said: “It was a pleasure to view all of the amazing photographs we received and see the glorious sights and churches the county has to offer brilliantly brought to life.”

The funds raised were divided between individual churches, and the trust, which has given hundreds of grants over the past five decades for repairs, renovation and conservation. The NCT was able to award a further £60,000 to 14 churches across the county in its latest round of grants, thanks to the almost £40,000, raised by cyclists, walkers and even canoeists at last September’s event.

Since the bike ride started, it has raised around £2.6m in the past 36 years. And on September 14, the 2019 event will be held and organisers hope to have as many churches open for the event.

The winning photograph in the category of “people taking part” was the Rev Robin Stapleford, rector of the Upper Wensum village group; runners-up, Jack Grey and Charles Inglis.

The best photograph of an architectural feature or item in or around a church was taken by David Nice; runner-up, Charles Inglis.

The image of “your favourite” church was taken by David Pattrick; runner-up David Nice.

For details and how to support the 2019 Bike Ride, on Saturday, September 14 –

Architectural feature or item found in church

Winner, £50 – David Nice ; runners-up and highly commended, Charles Inglis

Best picture of people taking part

Winner, £50- Reverend Robin Stapleford ; runners-up and highly commended – Jack Grey and Charles Inglis

Best picture of favourite church

Winner, £50 – David Pattrick ; runner-up and highly commended, David Nice


Bike Ride Newsletter – January 2019

You can read our latest Newsletter here


Wobbles, Tigers and Reminisces – my first bike ride.

Read Anna Anderson’s account of the 2018 BikeRide here

She has also sent these photos

David Nice – latest blog

Read the latest blog from David Nice here.  It’s bound to make you want to go out and visit Norfolk’s wonderful churches!

Royal recognition for Best Bike, Ride and Drive fundraiser

An outstanding fundraiser has been royally recognised for their support of the Norfolk Churches Trust for the second year running.

Charles Inglis received a signed Prince of Wales’s Certificate for his 2017 fundraising efforts which was presented by Ian Lonsdale as Chairman of the Norfolk Churches Trust.  Charles is the Event Coordinator and leading from the front he individually raised an astonishing £3,730.  The top 3 fundraisers between them raised over £8,500; so there was stiff competition for the Certificate.

The certificate signed by the Trust’s patron, HRH The Prince of Wales, was presented at St Peter’s Corpusty which is one of the 13 Churches leased to the Trust and for which it is responsible. The Trust has recently carried out extensive repairs on the church thanks to a generous grant from the DCMS Roof Repair Fund, which means it is now open to the general public again as a result.

The largest annual fundraising event for the trust sees locals explore as many of the county’s religious buildings as possible by bike, car or any other means of transport they wish to utilise, and get sponsored for their efforts.  This year it is on Saturday 8 September.

The funds raised are split between the participant’s church of choice and the Trust’s general funds which give grants to hundreds of churches for repairs, renovation and the conservation of their buildings. Over the past 35 years the Bike, Ride and Drive event has raised around £2.6 million in total.

In case you missed it ….

The Eastern Daily Press featured the Bike Ride.  Read it here


The 2017 Bike Ride Photo Competition

This year’s competition has finally been collated and judged by representatives of the sponsors, Brown & Co and the winners and runners up in each of the 3 competition categories identified.  They were featured in the Eastern Daily Press on 27th May- you can see the article here

The best photo of an architectural feature or item found in or around a church was won by Charles Inglis, The Bike Ride Coordinator.  His photograph (right) was taken at the church of St Peter & St Paul, Edgefield.


The Runner-Up in this category was Mike Trendell (pictured left)

Mike says he believes that it is important in this day and age that as much publicity as possible is given to our churches and the art to be seen in them.  He has recently given talks on 1,000 years of Art in the English Parish Church. He also has a set of mounted prints on the same subject and these have been displayed in Christ Church, Eaton and at the Royal Photography HQ in Bath.



The Best photo of people taking part on the day was won by Abigael Polley

Abigael says that the 2 people in the photo are Tim Farnham & Sian Astley. They are both bell ringers at the St Peter & St Paul, Scarning church where Tim is the Tower Captain. This was the 2nd year ‘The Scarning Cycling Campanologists’ group had done a 30-mile exploration of Norfolk. They are looking forward to this year’s escapade adding new churches to their list.


The Runner-Up was Rob Metcalfe,  He reports that the photo is of his son Max, and it was taken at All Saints, Burnham Sutton-cum-Ulph; and that they will almost certainly be riding again in September for, he thinks, the 16th year in a row.





Winner of the best photo of your favourite church was David Nice (right)

The photo is of St Andrew’s at Hempstead, near Holt.


The Runner-Up in this category was Mike Trendell (left). His photo is of St Andrew’s Eaton, near Norwich.

This year the Photographic Competition is sponsored by Brown & Co. – Property & Business Consultants LLP



The Prince of Wales Certificate 2016

The  Prince of Wales Certificate for the 2016 Bike Ride signed by His Royal Highness, with the recipient’s name written in in water colour by Matthew Rice, is presented to Mrs Mary Truman (who raised £2,187.50 for Somerleyton Church and £578.75 for Herringfleet Church giving an overall total of £2,766.25) by The Bishop of Norwich at Bishops House.

Winners of the 2016 Photographic Competition

We had some fabulous and atmospheric entries for our photographic competition. The winning entries were published in the EDP and the Evening News. They really did reflect the weather on the day. The winners each received £100 and were as follows; photograph recording people taking part, Kathryn Thacker and the winner of both an architectural feature and their favourite church categories was David Nice.