Ride and Stride – 12th September 2020

For details on our Ride and Stride for 2020 please click here and see also the separate Ride & Stride website www.kentrideandstride.co.uk.

Click here for stories from the 2019 event.

Click here for the financial results and general statistics for the 2019 event.

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Please remember anyone can donate to the Friends of Kent Churches through Virgin Money at http://friendsofkentchurches.co.uk/donations-via-virgin-money/


Here is some recent history about Ride and Stride from our Annual Report for 2018, some Short Stories from the 2018 Ride & Stride, a selection of R&S websites and some photographs taken over the last few years.


Ride & Stride 2018 – from the Friends of Kent Churches Annual Report


Much of what I have to report will sound very familiar, Romney Marsh was the most popular place to visit, All Saints Ulcombe raised the most money, Darren Blunden and Nigel Matcham visited the most churches and St Peter & St Paul, Saltwood had the most participants.

The total raised including gift aid was slightly down from last year and came to £113,363.  One of the reasons for this was that we were not able to claim as much gift aid this time, showing how important it is to get sponsors to gift aid their donations if appropriate.  There was also less money raised through Justgiving.  The arrangement with Justgiving through the National Churches Trust has come to an end and from now on we are using Virgin Money Giving which charges a competitive fee for use.  Details is on the Friends website at Donations via Virgin Money.

Despite not raising as much money as last year we can still be proud of the fact that this total was 9% of the total raised in the whole of England and Wales and we remain one of the counties that raises the most money.

We are also encouraged by the fact that as we spread the word new churches join in and in 2018 we had five churches taking part who had never done so before.  Another church The Sacred Heart Church in Walmer was not on the list of churches to visit but being open for Heritage Open Day they downloaded a form on the day and signed in 25.

Participants did not just cycle or walk from church to church, Rev Ann Pollington, vicar of St Dunstan Cranbrook set up her exercise bicycle in front of the church in Cranbrook High Street and collected from passers by.  Further afield Christine Bromwich from All Saints Sittingbourne pedalled the equivalent of 10 km on an exercise bike during a river cruise on the Rhine.

Last year St Eanswith Benzett had 102 visitors and this year it was St George Ivychurch with 101 which had the most visitors meaning that someone new came through the door every three minutes for six hours.  Amongst these visitors was a group of seventeen riders from St Paul Rusthall who visited twenty churches on the Marsh totally 340 visits in all.

St Peter & St Paul Saltwood who featured in last year’s Annual Report singing in every church visited, surpassed themselves this year with a total of 79 people taking part including a children’s walking group of 21 children and 20 adults and a separate walking group of 26 adults and not forgetting the 12 welcomers.

It is particularly good to hear of children being involved.  Another church which got children walking was All Saints Snodland.  Lorraine Shepheard led a group of four Pathfinders (11-15 years) around thirteen churches in the Malling area taking over six hours to do so.

It is a good day out as well as raising money for a very worthy cause and congratulations to everyone who took part and a big thank you from Kent’s churches.

Bishop of Dover retires

Bishop Trevor who retires this year has been a great supporter of Ride & Stride making sure that he gets involves somewhere in the county on the day to encourage people walking or riding.  It is always encouraging to people taking part to know that their effort is appreciated and we thank him for his involvement over the years.

Gravesham MP, Adam Holloway

The Ride & Stride chairman, Nigel Wheeler, as usual, organised a group of cyclists to visit an area of Kent.  This year it was to the Isle of Grain and Nigel persuaded the Gravesham MP, Adam Holloway and his wife, to take part.  Nigel got together a group of farmers, doctors, lawyers and even a billiard table maker along with John Ryley, head of Sky News, a regular supporter despite living in Oxfordshire.


Stories from the 2018 Ride & Stride


Here are some “snippets” from last year:

  1. Lorraine Shepheard of All Saints Snodland led a group of four boys from their Pathfinders group (11-15 years) round 13 churches in the West Malling area taking  over 6 hours to do so.
  2. Heather Mills of Christ Church Willesborough has made a compilation of her tweets through the day on: https://twitter.com/h_m17/status/1032945014549835776
  3. Sacred Heart Church in Walmer was not listed as being open, but as it was open for Heritage Open Day they decided to encourage R & S participants to sign in and 25 people did so.
  4. Ann Pollington pedalled on an exercise bike outside St. Dunstan’s Church on Cranbrook High Street with a collecting bucket.
  5. Similarly Christine Bromwich from All Saints Sittingbourne pedalled the equivalent of 10km on a static bike during a river cruise on the Rhine.
  6. Thanks to their energetic organisers Derek and Joy Russill, St Peter & St. Paul Saltwood broke all records for the number of people taking part in this event from one church. They had:
  • Childrens’ walking group of 21 children and 20 adults
  • Adult walking group of 26
  • 12 welcomers

Total taking part 79.

  1. A group of 17 riders from St. Paul’s Rusthall each visited 20 churches in Romney Marsh, which makes a total of 340 visits.

A selection of R&S websites


News about Ride and Stride for Kent:- https://www.rideandstrideuk.org/counties/kent/

And about Ride and Stride in England:- https://www.rideandstrideuk.org/near-you/

This is the NCT website:- https://www.nationalchurchestrust.org/how-we-help/ridestride


Now some photographs from several contributors.


Riders on horseback visting churches near Sutton Valence:

Canterbury photos from Derek Russill:

St Martins Canterbury:-

Greyfriars chapel Canterbury:

ridestride2016_2

Photos from and of the “Millen” family:

Photos taken at St Peter & St Paul Shorne:

Linda and Andrew Moffat from Shorne have always been great supporters of Ride & Stride and it is a pleasure to remember Linda’s last Ride & Stride.  She wrote to us to tell us about her day:-

In the morning Andrew and I  visited  Higham, Chalk, Milton, Istead Rise, Southfleet, Hartley (All Saints & St Francis) and Longfield and then time ran out.

St Peter & St Paul Shorne combined Ride /Stride with an Open Day.  This was a success as you can see from these pictures which were all taken at Shorne, except the one taken at Longfield where they always provide an excellent buffet!

We were delighted that Bishop Trevor (photos below)  visited us accompanied by his wife, Margaret and stayed for tea and cake.  They visited several churches during the day. The couple with the bishop and his wife are Peter and Maureen Morten who walked on our behalf.”

A selection of photographs from Jo Tinkler: