June 20 2013 Latest news:
By Terry Mitchinson, Editor
Monday, May 7, 2012
AN annual sponsored event to raise money for historic churches in two counties raised more than £100,000 it has been revealed.
A massive, two county-wide ‘Bike ‘n’ Hike’, organised by the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Historic Churches, attracted over 1,000 sponsored participants last summer.
And because of the complexity of the day the final figure – £102,297 – has only now been confirmed.
Organiser Madeline Russell said the event, in September, had been an annual fixture organised by the trust for the past 20 years.
It raised money for the repair and restoration of churches and chapels of all denominations in the two counties.
“There are more than 600 churches to visit, most of which are open for bikers and hikers on the second Saturday in September,” she said.
“Many provide refreshment and all offer a chance to look at some of the area’s outstanding architectural treasures.
“It is a complicated event to organise because of the numbers of people and venues involved and it takes six months to gather in all the sponsorship and sort out the financial arrangements.
“It is a nail-biting time for the organising team as we wait to see if we have reached the magic six-figure total.
“We have done it once again!”
Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire have some of the finest ancient churches in the country as well as many more modern, interesting chapels and churches.
The cost of upkeep of these buildings, which often stand in prominent positions in the centres of towns and villages, is high and many congregations find it a great struggle to keep them in good order, which is where the Beds and Herts Historic Churches Trust comes in.
“Of the money raised half is returned to local churches and chapels to use as they see fit and the other half is retained by the trust to be accessed through grants for churches in need of help with repair,” said Mrs Russell.
The 2012 Bike ‘n’ Hike will be on September 8 and anyone can join in.
Documents will be available in mid-June and JustGiving is already available for the really keen!