Forty-one churches on the Island will be taking part in this year’s Ride and Stride Event with 26 offering refreshments to visitors on Saturday, September 14. In total over 400 historic churches throughout Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will be open to the public.
Organised by Hampshire and the Islands Historic Churches Trust, Ride and Stride encourages people to visit as many churches as they can either on foot, by bicycle or on horseback raising sponsorship money along the way. The Island is home to many churches in beautiful settings, with ancient bell towers and interiors reflecting our rich heritage. The trust is a registered charity which raises funds for grants and loans towards the upkeep of 900 fully functioning historic church buildings representing many different Christian traditions.
2018’s Ride and Stride event raised a record £65,000 last year for essential church repairs, renovation and restoration. This helps churches become fit for the community and to preserve them for future generations. Applications for funds doubled over the year before with requests for modern facilities and repairs.
Geoffrey Wort of Hampshire’s Ride and Stride said: “Ride and Stride is a great fun day out giving visitors a chance to see inside lots of beautiful historic churches which are often shut and the sponsorship money earned goes towards ensuring these fabulous churches are updated and maintained for future generations.”
Anyone wishing to take part can donate at the Hampshire and the Islands Historic Churches Trust page on the Virgin Money Giving website. Sign up to visit as many local churches as you like by foot, bicycle, horse, scooter, canoe, tandem, pushchair, or by car or bus. Sponsorship forms are available from hihct.org.uk.
The following Island churches will be taking part: Holy Trinity Church, Bembridge; Holy Cross, Binstead; St Boniface and St Boniface Old Church, Bonchurch; St Mary the Virgin, Brading; St Mary The Virgin, Brighstone; St Mary, Brook; All Saints, Calbourne; St Mary the Virgin, Carisbrooke; Holy Trinity, Cowes; St James, East Cowes; All Saints, Freshwater Village, St Agnes (The Thatched Church), Freshwater Bay; All Saints, Godshill; All Saints, Gurnard; St Peter, Havenstreet; Church of the Good Shepherd, Lake; St Peter and St Paul, Mottistone; Minster Church of St Thomas, Newport; St John the Baptist, Newport; St John the Baptist, Niton; St John the Baptist, Northwood; All Saints’ Church, Ryde; St John the Baptist, Ryde; St Peter, Seaview; St Michael the Archangel, Shalfleet; St Paul, St Saviour on the Cliff, St Blasius churches in Shanklin; St Peter, Shorwell; St Helen’s, St Lawrence, St Lawrence Old Church, St Lawrence; St Swithin, Thorley; Holy Trinity, Ventnor; St Catherine’s, Ventnor; St Mildred, Whippingham; St Mary & St Rhadegund, Whitwell, St Edmund, Wootton; St James, Yarmouth and St John the Baptist, Yaverland.
The full list of participating churches in Hampshire with maps showing churches taking part is available on the website.