“I wonder if the pioneering people who first did the Bike Ride in 1983 would believe that it is still going strong in 2023, and that the event has raised over £4 million for churches,” writes Charles Inglis, Norfolk Bike Ride Committee Chairman. “The bikes, the clothes, the world has changed enormously but one thing hasn’t changed, we still have our magnificent churches and I don’t think we have lost any in the last 40 years.”
The ride is a way for parishes to raise money without a huge amount of organisation. Any money raised is split between the parish of the participants’ choice and the Norfolk or Suffolk or Cambridgeshire Churches Trust. The trusts give out grants to churches and chapels of all Christian denominations. Participants can cycle, walk, run or drive, so nobody needs to feel that they can only do the event by peddling.
The rides will all take place from 9am to 5pm on September 9. Most churches in the counties will be open on the day and the idea is to visit as many of them as possible.
Last year the Norfolk ride raised £134,301 through the efforts of 622 participants. This meant it has raised over £4 million since its inception in 1983. This money has made a huge difference to preserving Norfolk’s iconic and beautiful churches. A total of 286 places of worship received cheques last year. More information is available on the website norfolkchurchestrust.org.uk/bike-ride-walk/
“The challenges facing our churches are still enormous, and I hope you will celebrate this 40th year by making a huge effort to support a church of your choice and the Norfolk Churches Trust by taking part in the 40th Bike Ride,” says Charles Inglis. “We would love to hear from anybody who took part in the first bike ride.”
Participants can send in photos and the organisers will give a £50 prize to the ones they like most and send them to the EDP to be published. Even for those who don’t win, photos are wanted for the Facebook page and website.
The more competitive can try and get their name on the Wall of Fame, where the names of the people who visit the most number of churches in a day, by bike or foot, are posted on the Norfolk Churches Trust website.
The Lord Lieutenant Certificate Certificate will be awarded to the person who raises the most money. There is also a prize of £1,000 for the most improved church, i.e. the church that manages to increase its fundraising the most compared to last year.
On the same day and in the same format the Suffolk Historic Churches Bike Ride takes place, more details at: Suffolk Historic Churches Trust (shct.org.uk)
Also taking place is the Cambridgeshire Historic Churches Bike Ride, more details at: https://camhct.uk/ride-and-stride/
Pictured above are participants in a previous Norfolk Churches bike ride.