15th May 2017
Dorset Historic Churches Trust celebrates St Giles’ Church fundraising success
Trustees, Deanery Representatives and Parish representatives from the Dorset Historic Churches Trust (DHCT) recently gathered at St Giles’ Church, Chideock, west Dorset for an annual celebration of fundraising. Each year, DHCT recognises the efforts of one of the scores of Dorset parishes which participate in the Trust’s Ride+Stride fundraising event, which takes place every September.
Participants are sponsored to cycle, walk or ride on horseback to as many churches as possible in one day between 10am and 6pm. Every year since 1999 the Morshead Trophy, named after DHCT founder, Sir Owen Morshead, is presented to the parish that has, in the opinion of the Trustees, achieved the most impressive results.
In recognition of his fantastic fundraising effort in last September’s sponsored Ride + Stride event, the prestigious Morshead Trophy was awarded to Richard Benjamin for raising £1530 on behalf of St Giles’ and a further £300 from the Chideock Martyrs Roman Catholic church.
The Bishop of Sherborne, the Rt Revd Karen Gorham, also a Vice-President of the Trust, presented the oak shield to Mr Benjamin on Monday 16th April at St Giles’ Church, Chideock. A gathering of over 80 supporters from the area and across Dorset came to congratulate him for his amazing determination and fundraising skills and to toast the success of the Ride + Stride event.
Mr Benjamin has taken part in the Ride + Stride event for a number of years, cycling up to 50 miles and visiting over 40 churches on the day – no little feat, especially given the very wet weather last September. His sponsorship added significantly to the huge sum of £81,000 raised last year – all of which allows the Trust to give cash grants to churches all over the county, which are in need of building restoration or development.
Ride+Stride is DHCT’s main source of income. The event involves nearly 200 parish and church communities across the county. The £81,000 raised in 2016 followed £84,000 in 2015 and £82,000 in 2014, a truly remarkable record for consistency. 50% of the funds raised are returned to parishes nominated by the participants.
Mr Simon Pomeroy, the Chairman of the DHCT, offered congratulations on the award and the Team Rector of the Golden Cap parishes, Revd Stephen Skinner, explained that he was especially pleased that the ride had also been supported by the Roman Catholic church, whose priest Canon Richard Meyer was present at the celebration. Simon Pomeroy added that this annual celebration provides the perfect opportunity to say thank you to everyone who works so hard to conserve the wonderful heritage of Dorset’s church for future generations. “The Trust intends to award a further £100,000 in grants to Dorset’s churches in 2017 and that just would not be possible without the hundreds of riders and striders and the thousands of sponsors backing them. Mr Richard Benjamin is a worthy winner and we look forward to this year’s Ride+Stride on Saturday 9th September!”
Speaking after the formal part of the proceedings in the Village Hall, where a splendid buffet supper was laid on, Mr Benjamin thanked those who had sponsored his cycling marathon and promised, “I’ll be doing the Ride+Stride again this year!”
This year’s Ride+Stride event takes place on Saturday 9th September. For more information, visit http://www.rideandstrideuk.org/
PICTURE CAPTION (L-R): Andrew Boggis (Lyme Bay area representative of the DHCT) ; The Rt Revd Karen Gorham (Bishop of Sherborne); Richard Benjamin, Simon Pomeroy; The Revd Stephen Skinner (Team Rector of Golden Cap parishes); Fr Richard Meyer (priest of the Bridport and area Roman Catholic parish); The Revd Jane Skinner (Team Vicar of the Golden Cap parishes).
DHCT exists to grant-aid maintenance work (eg keeping out wind and rain) on Dorset’s churches and chapels. In recent years, annual grants awarded have been around £100,000.
DHCT’s principal source of funds is the annual sponsored “Ride+ Stride” round the churches & chapels of Dorset. In 2016, nearly 200 parishes took part, Ride+Stride raised £80,000.
Each year DHCT awards the Morshead Trophy (which commemorates DHCT’s founder Sir Owen Morshead) to the most deserving parish participating in Ride+Stride.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Angharad Tye-Reeve, McKenna Townsend
Bridge House, Pullman Way, Ringwood, Hampshire BH24 1EX
- 01425 472330