This morning, Saturday 14th September, the Bishop of Dover, the Rt. Rev Trevor Willmott blessed walkers from St. Pancras Church in Coldred, Nr Dover as they began a 13 church walk of churches in East Kent in aid of Ride and Stride.
Ride and Stride is a national event which encourages people to cycle, or walk a route, visiting as many churches in their local area or beyond throughout the day, and be sponsored to do so.
Fifty per cent of sponsorship money raised goes to the church or chapel of the fundraiser’s choice, with the rest going to the Friends of Kent Churches. Last year, over £135,000 was raised in Kent to help support some of the most needy church buildings and chapels in the county.
Churches all over the region will be open and ready to offer a warm welcome to visitors and participants alike and will be on hand with home-made cakes, sandwiches, and of course lots of tea!
Jo Tinkler, who is Secretary of the Parish Church Council in Coldred and who is taking part in the walk today, developed the route herself and has written a comprehensive guide to the walk. Her tour this year runs up to Sandwich and roughly follows the East Kent Light Railway which was built for the East Kent Coal fields, with two windmills on route.
As patron of Ride and Stride in Kent, Bishop Trevor will be dropping into churches in the Dover and Sandwich Deaneries throughout the day to see how they are getting on and cheer riders and walkers on their way.
He said: “I’m really looking forward to the event which is in aid of such a good cause, because without special care and attention, many of the wonderful and beautiful church buildings in our county can very easily fall into disrepair.
“Whether you are being sponsored or not, it’s a wonderful opportunity for people to take a look inside some of the wonderful churches we have across Kent, and as a Church, it helps remind us that these are not just our buildings, but everyone’s buildings.”
Jo Tinkler said: “I’ve taken part in Ride and Stride the last three years and I love to do it because it benefits communities across Kent. It helps maintain our heritage and holds the doors of our churches open, no matter what denomination. It is needed because in everyone’s life comes a moment to seek the beauty and calm of these special places”.ENDS
For more information please contact Jennifer Ross, Projects Officer, Diocese of Canterbury, Communities and Partnerships Framework – 01227 459 401 or 07765 112 177
NOTES TO EDITORS
- The Bishop of Dover blesses and prayers with the walkers before they set off
- The walkers head on their way (Jo Tinkler – centre, waving with denin jacket)
- The Bishop, walkers and supporters outside St. Pancras Church (Left to right – Bishop Trevor Willmott, Canon Caroline Pinchbeck – Director of the Diocese of Canterbury’s Communities and Partnerships Framework, Jo Tinkler – centre with glasses and denim jacket)
- For more information about Kent Ride and Stride please visit: http://www.friendsofkentchurches.co.uk/bike_ride.php