Big Bike Ride smashes all-time record, raising more than £150,000
- Credit: Archant
A charity cycling event attracting hundreds of people each year has soared past its £150,000 fundraising target - breaking a 37-year record.
With more funds still coming in following the annual Bike Ride event, the Norfolk Churches Trust has already smashed the all-time record of £139,564 set in 2008.
Organiser Charlie Inglis, of Hempstead, near Holt, has been amazed by the support for the Trust, which aims to help churches and chapels of all denominations.
It also brings the overall total since Bike Ride began in 1983 to more than £3m, all in a bid to safeguard and maintain the county’s rich heritage of places of worship.
Mr Inglis, who is a trustee of the charity, cycled to 23 churches with his son Lorne and his three friends.
He said: “We were incredibly fortunate with the weather but the overall response has been terrific. To be honest, I’ve been blown away by it all.
“We were nervous back in March when preparing to put on the event, but we always felt it was something which could be as Covid-friendly as possible as far as events go.
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“We did have to change a few things, such as asking people to sign in at churches and bring their own pens, but it all worked out okay.”
Hundreds of people got involved in September’s ride, which was also supported by the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham Usher.
One of the oldest people to take part was a man who is due to celebrate his 80th birthday next month, and the youngest was six-year-old Jessie, who raised £912 for South Burlingham Church, between Norwich and Great Yarmouth, by cycling 16 miles.
One participant cycled to 72 churches, raising funds for the Trust and for St Andrew and St Mary, in Langham, near Holt, and another walked to 42 churches, raising funds for St Mary the Virgin, in Saxlingham Nethergate, south of Norwich.
Sponsored by the Eastern Daily Press, the event also attracted a single anonymous donation of £25,000 to be shared with Burnham Norton Church, on the north Norfolk coast.
More than 600 churches opened throughout the day.
Proceeds are split between the Norfolk Churches Trust and places of worship nominated by individuals taking part.
Since the Trust’s launch in the 1970s, the charity had made grants of more than £6m for repair, renovation and conservation of churches and chapels.