Sponsored bike ride raises money for historic churches in Norfolk and Suffolk
- Credit: Chris Inglis
Hundreds of people got into the saddle to visit churches across the region today, in an annual event to raise money for the trusts that look after the historic buildings.
More than 600 churches in Norfolk opened their doors to cyclists and others taking part in Saturday's 33rd sponsored bike ride to raise funds for the Norfolk Churches Trust, while, across the border, the 35th Suffolk Historic Churches Sponsored Bike Ride and Stride took place.
Since its inception, the Norfolk event has raised about £2.8m, which is divided between the church of the participant's choice and the trust.
Charles Inglis, county co-ordinator, who rode around 25 churches himself, said he was confident that almost everyone who asked for sponsorship would have taken part, despite the wet weather, even if some cut short their itineraries.
He said: 'I have seen quite a lot of people. I think it's a great day out. You drive past all these churches going about your day-to-day business all the year, and you rarely have the time to go in and explore them.
'Every church has something of interest in it, and they are all rather remarkable buildings. I love it.'
He said the event was facing growing competition from the increasing number of other bike rides, but 600-700 people usually return sponsorship forms.
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He added: 'This is the biggest fund raiser of the year, so it's fairly vital that it's a success if the Norfolk Churches Trust is going to be able to keep giving money to help.
'The churches of Norfolk must be one of the most iconic images of the county, and they don't stand up without help.'
This year's fundraising total will not be known for several months, but last year just over £100,000 was collected.
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