Ride & Stride for the Lincolnshire Churches Trust

I’m pleased to report that the annual Sponsored Ride and Stride for the Lincolnshire Churches Trust WILL be going ahead this year, albeit in a slightly different way to take account of the strange circumstances we still find ourselves in!  The event will be held on Saturday 12 September, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

If you’ve not heard of this event before, here’s a quick explanation.  The Ride and Stride is a fundraiser for the Lincolnshire Churches Trust, which was founded in 1952 by Lord Ancaster and Bishop Harland to preserve and protect our churches.  The Trust is non-denominational and gives grants to help any church or chapel (over 100 years old) with a specific project.  With churches having been closed for some time during the Covid-19 pandemic the need for support is even greater this year.

On Ride and Stride ride day participants visit any of the churches supporting the event (countywide) by walking, cycling, or some other kind of travel – roller skating, horse riding or mobility scooting for example.  You can choose how many to visit and how far you wish to travel – there is no set route.  All you need to do is ask friends and family to sponsor you either per church visited, or to pledge a donation for your efforts.

As we are all being encouraged to maintain our fitness and take daily exercise, why not consider getting the whole family to enjoy visiting our lovely fenland churches this year?  Obviously things will not be quite the same as usual this year, but the changes from the ‘normal’ are purely practical common sense issues to take account of social distancing and keeping safe.

How to get involved
– Go to the Lincolnshire Churches Trust Website  to find out more and to print your own sponsor form and list of churches you can visit. Following National Churches Trust guidelines, the Lincolnshire Churches Trust are not physically distributing posters, forms etc. to the parish organisers this year in order to minimise contamination.

– Please let me know that you will be taking part (details below).

– Please advertise the Ride and Stride event to all your friends, whether or not you intend to take part yourself. You may be able to persuade someone else to take part and raise much-needed funds. Direct them to the Trust’s website to find out more about it. There is also a facebook page which you can share – https://www.facebook.com/Ride-and-Stride-2020-101394751670650.

– When someone agrees to sponsor you, please fill in their details yourself to avoid potential contamination.  It’s a good idea to contact potential sponsors electronically.

– Perhaps ask sponsors at the same time if they would mind paying you electronically when the time comes to pay up as this would avoid cash contamination. This is just a suggestion – the decision is yours.

– Encourage sponsors to gift aid if they can – you need to put their home address and postcode and tick the gift aid column. “Bakkavor” or “Holbeach” won’t do.

Sponsoring others rather than taking part
If you would like to be a sponsor rather than taking part but don’t know anyone, we will be having a “collective” sponsor form for the whole group.  This will be available during services and when church personnel are in the building.  Just pop into church and write your details and the amount you’d like to donate on the form if it is available.  If it is not there, please write on an envelope “CYCLE RIDE”, along with your first and last names, the number/name of your house, street and postcode, and the words “Gift Aid” if you are a UK taxpayer; enclose your donation and push it right through the slot in the safe.  A telephone number would also enable us to thank you.  N.B. Your details are needed purely so that gift aid can be claimed by the Trust – they will not be retained beyond that and you will not be contacted for marketing purposes.

On cycle ride day – Saturday 12th September
– Cycle/walk with members of your ‘bubble’ if possible. If you want to go with a friend, not in your ‘bubble’, please do keep at a distance of whatever is the government advice at the time. If you decide to travel alone, take a mobile phone with you. You’d no doubt be doing that anyway! It is not advisable for anyone under 16 to cycle a significant distance alone, of course.

– This year you will need to sign your sponsor form yourself at each church, so remember to take your own pens! Many of the churches/chapels you visit will, I suspect, be closed (although there should be a visible poster for the event to welcome you), but where a church is open (like our own here in Holbeach), even if a steward is there to greet you, no-one will be able to sign your form for you and you will need to follow any guidance for hand sanitising/movement around the church.

– I suggest you take your own food and drinks with you – unless you have foolproof knowledge that a particular cafe/pub/shop you like to frequent is going to be open. I doubt very much that any churches will provide squash and cups as they usually do. Again, most of us do take drinks with us in normal circumstances anyway.

– Be prepared for public toilets as well as toilets in churches to be unavailable. Select, “hidden” spots behind hedgerows may be your only option! Choose your route carefully to take account of how long you will be away from home.

– Contact your sponsors for their sponsor money – cash or by electronic means.
– Send your completed sponsor form to me as usual. Please check that details are clearly legible.
– Either send me cash or contact me for details of how to pay by BACS directly into the church account. N.B. if paying by BACS please mark it ‘CYCLE RIDE’ and let me know exactly what the figure is, so that accurate records can be kept, and the church treasurer’s sanity!
– I need to have all the forms and sponsor money in by October 8th.

Thank you so much for any involvement/contribution you can make to this year’s event. Please get in touch if you need any further help or information.

Kim Biggs (Deanery Organiser)
01406 426631