Letter from the Rectory – National Launch 2019 Ride and Stride!





Oxford UK 31st May 2019 Vicars on penny farthings in OxfordCredit Richard Cave Photography.Vicars from across the country descended on Oxford on Friday to learn how to ride penny farthings to promote a charity event that raises money for the upkeep of historic churches.A peloton of clergymen and women swept through the streets of Oxford in their dog collars to raise awareness of Ride + Stride, the annual fundraiser that sees the public sponsored to walk or cycle between churches.Clergy who signed up received instruction from world experts from the Penny Farthing Club in the car park of Wolvercote Primary School, before the more accomplished and adventurous ones set off on a circular ride from St Peter’s Church, First Turn.The event passed off with plenty of nervous laughter and wobbling – but no serious injuries or, worse, blasphemy.Ride + Stride takes place this year on Saturday, September 14th. Nationally, the event raises more than £1million annually.Vicar…. said: “Ride + Stride raises such a lot of money and I wanted to give something back by helping to promote a great event.“Hopefully, this shows that we are grateful for the support of the public and also that clergy are game for a laugh.“It was silly and a bit scary at the same time. I will be lobbying for the organisers to hold a more sedate launch event next year.”Ride + Stride is organised locally by the Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust (OHCT).OHCT committee member Hilary Cakebread Hall is also the national Ride + Stride chairman. She described the penny farthing event as “quite bizarre, but quite brilliant”.Mrs Cakebread Hall, who lives near Wantage, added: “Ride + Stride is not just for people who go to church every weekend.“It is for couples and individuals who want an excuse for riding miles on a Saturday, or for families who want to do something fun and worthwhile.”She added: “Churches are so important spiritually and aesthetically, and they are the setting for some of the most important events in all of our lives – baptisms, weddings and funerals.“They are also increasingly becoming a focus for the wider community, and Ride + Stride helps them do this by funding kitchens and heating that make them available to the public for events every day of the week, not just for Sunday services.“We have to take care of our churches, and Ride + Stride plays a key role in this.”For more details on how to take part in Ride + Stride in Oxfordshire go to www.ohct.org.uk/ride-stride/


Letter from the Rectory

National Launch 2019 Ride and Stride!


It was with great surprise that I was invited to be the representative for Hampshire and the Islands at the National Launch of The Historic Churches Trust’s Annual Ride and Stride.

Last year together with Nick Oulton and a few other daring souls we cycled many miles raising thousands of pounds for this amazing Trust which helps to give generous grants in aid of our beautiful church buildings. As a thank you two of our members from Shalfleet received awards for our efforts at Hampshire’s Annual Dinner.

Then out of the blue came my invitation to travel to Oxford to be trained up on how to ride a penny farthing cycle and do a short Ride and Stride into the centre of the city.

It was a glorious day, the sun shone and the training which took place in Wolvercote School Car Park was brilliant. It was a bit tricky getting on and off but I soon got the hang of it and then off we went into Oxford! Everyone was so kind and the event clearly caused a bit of a sensation, with people grabbing their phones and cameras to catch a picture of us sailing past in a long line.

Then we returned unscathed to Wolvercote School where we all enjoyed an exceptional lunch before I began the journey back to the Isle of Wight.

It was a great privilege to take part! there will be bits and pieces in the National and Local Press and there are lots of photos of me riding an ancient bicycle in very modern cycling gear!

The next Ride and Stride is on 14th September and I will be cycling again and seeking sponsorship, so let’s make this year’s extra special! If you are keen, dust off the bike from its winter blues and get practising! then come and join us as we cycle around quite a large part of the Island, it would be great to have a really strong team of cyclists for this year’s event.    

If cycling is not your thing come walking and raise funds that way and if for whatever reason you cannot participate physically start saving up some pennies so that we can hopefully raise a new target of £5000 within the benefice of the West Wight Mission Community.

Just as I helped to start it all off this year on a Penny Farthing, here’s hoping that your pennies will help us reach our target and continue to support this glorious charity which has already helped us so generously over the last few years.

In joyful anticipation of an amazing Ride and Stride 2019!

Every blessing