Walk and cycle in countryside to restore historic treasures

Chichester cathedral -  photo by Louise Adams
Chichester cathedral - photo by Louise Adams
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The Sussex Historic Churches Trust, which raises money to restore some of the county’s oldest buildings, is preparing for its main fundraising event.

The charity, founded in 1956, has helped more than 500 historic buildings by awarding grants for essential repairs and restoration work to places of worship with architectural or historic interest more than 100 years old.

Its Ride and Stride event, due to take place on September 8, sees hundreds of people across the country taking part in a day of family fun cycling and walking between churches in the British countryside.

Families take bicycles, trikes and scooters raising money for their own parish church and last year people in Sussex raised more than £45,000, shared equally between the churches and the trust.

Graham Pound, county organiser for the event and a trustee of SHC said: “Many people are passionate about our historic buildings. This trust exists to maintain that these buildings have a future for people to enjoy for generations to come.

“This year we are working creatively to bridge the financial downturn and attract many more families, cyclists and keen ramblers. So this year, join us, have a fun day out, take in a few historic churches on the way. And you will be keeping fit and helping to make a difference.”

Beth Hale, the diocesan officer for church buildings, said: “Grants for repairs to listed buildings are increasingly hard to find as money for them is extremely short. In the 2012 Budget the government announced that VAT would now be charged on all works of repair and alteration to listed buildings. This could result in a tighter squeeze on church finances.”

For more information go to the Ride and Stride website www.rideandstride.info