Charles Inglis, Chair of the Bike Ride Committee writes:
We had a very successful presentation of the Prince of Wales certificate on Sunday. It started with an excellent service at the beautiful Burnham Thorpe, All Saints church, held by Revd Steve Wood. Mary Heather, the winner of the Prince of Wales certificate, who raised an extraordinary £25,700, played the organ. Mary is now 93 and has been playing the organ in the church since she was a teenager. Approximately 60 supporters and friends of Mary’s came to the service.
The Lady Dannatt MBE, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk, presented the certificate in the churchyard accompanied by the President of the Norfolk Churches Trust, General The Lord Dannatt GCB CBE MC DL.
General Dannatt, gave an introduction and Lady Dannatt gave a speech praising Mary’s dedication to her community, her amazing fund raising efforts, as well as her long standing support of the Norfolk Churches Trust Bike Ride. Mary also made a speech thanking her supporters and extolling the virtues of the Bike ride and the enjoyment in visiting so many lovely churches over the years. These days she does the ride with a nephew, Paul Howard, who was with her for the presentation. She pointed out that her parents and grandparents, who have also done so much for their church, were buried close by in the churchyard. Mary was also given a cheque for £1,000 from the Norfolk Churches Trust as Burnham Thorpe raised the most money on the Bike Ride compared to the previous year.
The chairman of the Norfolk Churches Trust, Peter Sheppard, was also present along with members of the Norfolk Churches Trust Bike Ride committee. Charles Inglis, Amelia Courtauld, Hetty Burdon, Jane Lane and Ian Lonsdale
After the service 30 people were kindly invited by Mary to the lawn outside the Nelson Memorial Hall to have a delicious buffet provided by Burn Valley Catering. The wine was kindly donated by one of her sponsors and one of her nephews, David Howard, who lives in America, kindly paid for the excellent food.
The whole event was a very jolly occasion and it was fitting that Mary’s extraordinary efforts were recognised by the Prince of Wales.
The EDP published an article about the presentation last week. You can read it here.
Please note that this year’s Norfolk Churches Trust Bike Ride and Walk is on the 11th of September 2021. We hope that it will be as successful as last year’s event which raised £175,000, a record amount,