Ride & Stride 2019 Launch Revd. Clive

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/