Launch of 35th Suffolk Historic Churches Sponsored Bike Ride and Stride

The team of volunteers behind this years annual sponsored bike ride around Suffolk's churches, are encouraging walkers to get involved too.

The event, which will be held on Saturday 10 September, was launched at St Peters Church, Hospital Road Bury St Edmunds. Attending, with their bikes or walking boots, were the Bury Bicycle Collective and Bury Ramblers who are both planning to take part.

"The landscape of Suffolk would look very different without our 500 medieval churches, which are part of or social history and add much to the enjoyment of many of our walks, whether looking at their architecture and craftsmanship or simply as a shelter for our refreshment stops – some churches also providing tea and coffee facilities!" explained Rosie Perham, from Bury Ramblers. "This year our walk will be based in the Great Finborough area, visiting six beautiful churches over a distance of ten miles, led again by Ron West."

One cycling group are joining in for the first time,

"The Bury Bicycle Collective is a group of ladies who came together just over a year ago," added Ann Williamson from the Bury Bicycle Collective. "In that time they have supported many charities by taking part in cycle rides and this is an opportunity to have a ride with a difference, for the first time supporting the good work of the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust We are planning a 50 mile route to take in the local churches with the members and, in this instance, their partners are invited. Riders can join or leave the ride at any stage along the route."

Thousands of individuals, families and groups of all ages, will take part in the annual "ride and stride" on Saturday 10 September 2016, and will be planning their routes and signing up sponsors from now until bike ride day. Sponsor forms are now available in Suffolk churches or from the Trust (, and riders and walkers choose which local church will receive half of their sponsor money. The remainder goes to SHCT to be given out as grants for essential repairs. Riders can also collect sponsorship via Just Giving

The annual ride, which began in Suffolk but has now spread across England, appeals to families, local history lovers, keen cyclists and walkers, church supporters and those who just enjoy an annual ride or stroll around the villages and towns of Suffolk. Disability scooters are also welcome.

"The 10th September is the day you can make a difference for your chosen church or chapel," added Patrick Grieve, the Chairman of the SHCT Sponsored Bike Ride and Stride. "Join the hundreds riding or striding around Suffolk's beautiful villages, woods and farmland. Raise your fitness and your spirits, and money for the Trust."

Routes are decided by each cyclist (or walker), incorporating stops at some of over 500 Suffolk places of worship that will be open to receive them and
Cyclists and walkers can get more more information from their local church or by contacting the SHCT Secretary on 01787 883884 or

"Alarms for Churches Appeal" - and £26,000 reward launched.

One hundred and eleven churches and chapels in Suffolk now have alarms fitted to their roofs. Since the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust launched the “Alarms for Churches Appeal”, it has helped treble the number of Suffolk churches with approved alarms. The alarms mean that these churches and chapels are now properly insured if their lead roofs are targeted by thieves.

When the appeal was launched in September 2015, thirty-five Suffolk churches had approved roof alarms and now, thanks to generous donations and grants, the SHCT has helped another seventy-six churches.

“The Appeal has raised £160,000 with donations of all sizes from Suffolk people, and we are especially grateful for the large donations we have received from The Lord Belstead Charitable Trust and from The H B Allen Charitable Trust”, said Martin Favell, Chairman of SHCT, “and we would like to thank everyone who has helped so far. We have already awarded grants to churches totalling £155,000. However, there are still another fifty churches without alarms that we would also like to help, and with organised metal thieves still stripping roofs at churches along the A14 corrider, there is no room for complacency.”

The Trust are also delighted, and very grateful, for other recent sizeable donations including £500 from the D.C.Moncrieff Charitable Trust,  £500 from the Sudbury Decorative and Fine Arts Society and a donation of £2,000  from a charity which wishes to remain anonymous. 

Some churches, who missed the initial launch, have not applied for a grant, thinking they were too late; however, Martin Favell is anxious that they do not miss out.

“We would liketo help all the remianing churches who do not yet have alarms and, if Suffolk people, who value the historic buildings that are part of their community, continue to support the appeal, we hope to be able to achieve this.”

SHCT is hoping to cover half the cost of each alarm fitted, up to a value of £2,500. This means vulnerable churches and chapels in Suffolk can continue to get the same financial support as those churches which have already been helped.

SHCT are asking churches who still need their help to contact them, and they are also asking the people of Suffolk to help with a donation, however small, either via JustGiving ( or by sending a cheque, paid payable to SHCT, to The Secretary, Suffolk Historic Churches Trust, Brinkleys, Hall Street, Long Melford, Suffolk, CO10 9JR.

LATEST: The East Anglian Daily Times, with the Eastern Daily Press, are offering a reward for information leading to the conviction of the lead thieves. Thank you also to the Bishop, the Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore, and Adnams for contributing to a reward total of £26,000.




Welcome to Suffolk Historic Churches Trust








The Suffolk Historic Churches Trust (SHCT) was founded in 1973 as a result of the growing awareness of the threat to these ancient and historic buildings. A combination of rising repair costs, dwindling congregations and hopelessly inadequate parish or community resources meant that many of the churches were facing redundancy and closure. Since then the Trust has raised and distributed over £4 million to help with the repair and maintenance of these churches. The Trust is non-denominational and churches, chapels and meeting houses are eligible to apply for grants from the Trust.



Suffolk's Churches


The landscape of Suffolk would look very different without the 500 medieval churches the county can be so proud of. Then there is the role of non-conformist chapels and meeting houses in our history. Even non-worshipping members of communities appreciate that it is worth the time and money involved in preserving churches and chapels for future generations. (For more details of why Suffolk's religious buildings are important to the local economy, click here.)

Bedfield church undergoing repairs



Churches, chapels and meeting houses that are used as a public place of worship and are open to the public can apply to the SHCT for financial help for work to the fabric of the church. 


Donations and legacies help to further the work of the Trust and the Trustees are very grateful to anyone who is able to help in this way, or is willing to organise a fund-raising event. (Click here for more details.)




 The Annual Suffolk Historic Churches Sponsored Bike Ride

Our biggest fund-raiser started in Suffolk in 1982 but has now spread across the country (many counties now call it "Ride and Stride"). Riders (and walkers) register with the coordinator at their chosen church and the sponsor money they raise is shared equally between that church and the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust. The ride is held on the second Saturday in September. (click here for more details).

2009 SHCT Friends Meeting



Friends of SHCT 

For a minimum donation of £15 (individual), £25 (joint or PCC) and £100 (corporate) you can become a Friend of the Trust, help to protect Suffolk's churches and chapels and be invited to attend special Friends events - such as the Annual Meeting and Supper photographed (right) in 2009. (Click HERE for more details)



For more details about the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust please contact our Assistant Secretary, Helen Read, on 01787 883884, by post to Brinkleys, Hall Street, Long Melford, Suffolk CO10 9RJ, or by sending us a message using our online form here.

To donate or raise money for Suffolk Historic Churches Trust, find us on JustGiving
Trinity Methodist., Lowestoft

Forthcoming events

"From Bach to the Beatles"
September 09, 2016 (19:00 - 21:00)
(SHCT Events)
Bike Ride and Stride 2016
September 10, 2016 (All Day)
(SHCT Events)
View full calendar

Follow us on Facebook


Login Form