Gloucestershire Historic Churches Trust (GHCT) is delighted that 2020’s Ride+Stride was a huge success raising £35,000+ for church renovation and improvement grants in the area – despite everything that coronavirus has thrown at us this year.

Ride+Stride is a nationwide event supported by the National Churches Trust but organised by local historic churches trusts. All around the country on the second Saturday in September each year, thousands of people are sponsored to travel from church to church by walking, cycling or other methods.  While some churches were not able to take part this year, many churches and supporters were able to observe social distancing and take part, and the results so far, with money still coming in, were tremendous.

With the need to avoid manual handling as much as possible our new website came into its own and gave us a platform for setting up the administration of the event on-line.  Most of our supporters also used JustGiving to allow electronic transfer of sponsorship money to GHCT and this has proven remarkably effective in raising funds.  As a result, our operating costs have been reduced significantly. These lower costs combined with a great fundraising effort mean the net results for both years may well be very similar once all the final sponsorship money is banked.  It has also been very pleasing to see how our local organisers have taken to the new administration scheme and striven to maximise sponsorships in this difficult year.

Looking to 2021 we are optimistic that we will be able to boost numbers participating through regular updates of the new website, social media and other promotional channels that are becoming well established by the GHCT Communications team.

Funds raised from Ride+Stride are split between the Trust and local churches in Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire and North Bristol.  GHCT helps historic churches – our living heritage – by raising funds and providing £150,000 in grants for churches in our area every year. Our church renovation and improvement grants help these buildings stay alive as active centres of community life and landmarks of the wonderful architectural heritage of this area.

You can find out more about Ride+Stride on our website.