On Saturday, 9th September two teams from the Cathedral (one on foot and one on bikes) will be taking part in this year’s nationwide Ride+Stride fundraiser and they are out to top the £1,402 total they raised last year.
The Ride+Stride challenge involves visiting as many Wiltshire churches as possible between 10.00 and 18.00, with every pound raised in sponsorship to be shared equally between the Wiltshire Historic Churches Trust, which awards grants to churches with special maintenance needs, and the Cathedral’s Major Repair fund.
Gary Price, our Clerk of the Works managed to visit 27 churches by bike in just 5½ hours and this year he's determined to beat that record, planning an ambitious route for the day:
“I’m going to try and up the number of churches I visit this year, so I’ll be pushing the pace a bit and my son Harry will be doing it with me this time. It’d would be great to have other cyclists with us but I am conscious that some people may not want to go as far or as fast so Jilly Wright, our Development Manager, is planning a shorter route for bikes.”
The Cathedral walkers, headed up by Development Officer Natalie Downing, will be moving at a gentler pace and will stay a little more local than the cyclists:
“At the moment our suggested route will attempt to cover all of the local and town centre churches, including St Marks, St Martins and Harnham St George. How far we go will really depend on how far everyone wants to walk and we’ll see how people feel on the day about whether to extend the route.
“I did some very informal training last year to get some form of stamina, which did make a difference, so we are thinking of organising a few training sessions for the Cathedral staff and community just to get everyone limbered up. We’ll see what interest there is and we will keep it gentle. This is Ride+Stride not the Olympics.”
The Cathedral team launched their sponsorship appeal last week, setting their initial goal at £1000 but preparing to raise the bar if things go well. They visited 33 churches last year and Jilly Wright won a pen and £25 for raising the second most money in the county as an individual – an astounding £985> As she explained:
“Ride and Stride is a way of personally putting back into the building and community that I love. My job is to raise funds for vital repairs and conservation of Cathedral and this year’s focus is the East End which we started in August 2016. It is the oldest and most damaged part of the Cathedral and a huge amount of work will be involved over the next couple of years. So far this year our team have cut approximately 50 tons of quarry blocks and the stonemasons have worked around 170 stones, that’s about 20 a week depending on how complex the carving is, and we’ve drawn up our 1000th template for replacement stone. That’s going some.”
If you’d like to support them or join them go to their fundraising page https://www.justgiving.com/companyteams/salcathridestride2017 . You can sponsor them for each church they visit or for their participation in the whole event.
If you want to walk or cycle with the Cathedral teams, want to raise funds with them but travel independently or have any questions about Ride+Stride contact Natalie Downing on firstname.lastname@example.org