Photographs and news from the Sponsored Bike Ride 2020
Winners of the 2020 Photographic Competition
Winner: The judges liked this beautiful but isolated church with big Norfolk skies.
The photographer was Lucy Cubitt and the church is St Peter and St Paul, Honing.
Winner: This picture made the judges smile!
The photographer was David Owen who was apparently photographed at much the same age taking part in the Bike Ride! The picture was of Ellie and Grannie (Nina Owen)
Winner: Beautiful stained glass with ethereal light.
The photographer was Kate Griffin. The stained glass was in St John the Baptist Church, Garboldisham
Runner up. The judges liked this silhouette of a ruined church with the sun setting in the background.
Photograph taken by David Nice. The church is St Mary, Roudham
Runner up: Fun picture of a family enjoying themselves on the bike ride. Photographer Shaun Quinn.
Runner up: This just gives the feeling of a rather wonderful space, quite simple but beautiful with light shining across the floor and catching the altar rail.
Photographer Humphrey Anderson. Picture taken at Salle Church
Thank you - you were amazing.
What a year 2020 turned out to be – one which none of us could have anticipated.
We were in two minds as to whether or not to go ahead with the Bike Ride, given all the restrictions we had endured and the uncertainties which remained. It was with a real sense of trepidation that we decided to go ahead. We wondered whether there would be the appetite to support us and the confidence to get back out there and visit our wonderful places of worship.
How wrong we were!
It was an extraordinary year – thank you all so very much from the bottom of our hearts! It exceeded anything which has come before.
2020 saw an estimated additional 400 new participants – to whom thank you and welcome!
The total amount raised was a staggering £173,000 – an extraordinary increase of £78,000 on the previous year - and really quite humbling when you consider the challenges 2020 brought.
Thank you, thank you, thank you from all of us at the Norfolk Churches Trust and thank you from the places of worship you are helping to support.
Their need remains and so many fund raising events which go towards financing the much needed repairs have been so badly affected so it is some comfort to know that these additional funds will go some way to bridging the gap for so many of these wonderful churches and places of worship in Norfolk.
Amazingly our thoughts now turn to the 2021 Bike Ride and we are now working towards this year’s event on 11th September. Please put the date in your diary and help us to build on 2020’s success and we shall keep in touch over the year with our regular newsletters.
In the meantime, sit back and rest on your laurels and bask in a heartfelt thank you from all us here at the Norfolk Churches Trust Bike Ride and we shall look forward to doing it all over again in September!
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.”