Despite everything that this year has thrown at the country the 31st Leicestershire Ride and Stride fundraising event was not only able to go ahead but raised a record amount of money for local churches and nominated charities.
The annual event, which takes place on the second Saturday of September each year, raises funds for individual churches nominated by participants, and for the Leicestershire Historic Churches Trust which in turn gives grants to historic churches and chapels throughout Leicester and Leicestershire for repairs, restoration, renovations and improvements – keeping these stunning and important buildings open for worship and community use.
With the weather well and truly on their side, numerous people of all ages cycled, walked, ran and even rode a horse to raise money. There were 300 participating churches across Leicestershire giving many opportunities to choose an attractive route for being out and about during the day.
Janet Arthur, Chair of the Leicestershire Historic Churches Trust, said: “It was touch and go whether Ride+Stride could go ahead this year and we had very little time to organise it so we were over the moon when it was such a success. All our wonderful church organisers were thrilled that this much loved community event could go ahead in a way that was safe for everyone taking part – and the perfect weather on the day meant that everyone had an amazing day out.
“Unbelievably we have raised over £31,000 which is 50% more than we raised by this time last year and donations are still coming in, shared between individual churches and the Trust. The Trust’s share will be used for grants to churches and chapels in 2021 and we are enormously grateful to everyone who got involved!”
Local property experts Andrew Granger & Co showed their support by sponsoring the event for the seventh year in a row.
Rupert Harrison, Director and Head of Rural for Andrew Granger & Co Ltd, said: “It’s such a lovely event to be a part of and it was a pleasure for us to support it again.
“Given everything that’s happened this year we’re just delighted the event was such a success and that many of the region’s churches and chapels will benefit from the money raised.”
The Trust has awarded £40k in grants for a wide range of repair and improvement projects at churches and chapels across the county this year.