Ride & Stride 2019

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Ride and Stride conjures up images of 19th century gentlemen in top hats astride a 2 wheeled contraption, frightening the ladies as, legs flailing, they hurtle by. But in 2019 it was an ideal opportunity to visit some of Wiltshire’s most beautiful churches and to raise money for the upkeep and maintenance of our historic churches across the county.

On Saturday 14 September 2019, 2 groups of intrepid walkers enjoyed the pleasant sunny day, setting off from Charlton St John’s. One group strolled down Back Horsehill and across to Donhead St Andrew, where they were welcomed by refreshments of tea and cakes and an opportunity to look at the newly refurbished building ahead of its grand re-opening in October. It was then across the fields and through the Donhead Apple orchard to climb up to St Mary’s, with its lovely views over the valleys. Here Neville & Linda Pughe had left out fruit juices and biscuits in the porch for visiting walkers. Suitably refreshed, they returned to St John’s, having walked some 4 miles.The only adventure was at a marshy bit of field, when the humans got wet feet but the dog skirted it and kept dry!

The second group went further afield. They struck out initially along the lanes to St Mary’s, and after a fruit juice and biscuit, called in at the Village Hall to hear about the new Fitness classes. Then they carried on to St Leonard’s church in Semley for juice and biscuits, followed by coffee from the Semley Shop. Thus fortified, they continued up the lane to Sedgehill, enjoying the peace and quiet. Time here for a picnic lunch before returning through Semley and over Barker’s Hill to St Andrew’s, before concluding a walk of 11 miles.

Thank you to all our sponsors. We raised a total £445; well done! Half the money goes to the Historic Churches Trust, who provide grants to churches, and half goes to our churches. Also, we would like to thank all those who refreshed us on the day, leaving out drinks and biscuits to help ourselves.

Christopher Sykes