Midhurst church fundraisers pedal and stride to victory


RIDE and Striders across the Midhurst area have taken home an impressive array of awards from the annual Historic Churches Trust event.

Lord Lieutenant of East Sussex Peter Field presented the awards.

The annual cycling challenge takes place on the second Saturday in September when nearly all the churches in the county are open and many are manned.

Some 400 people take part and last year they raised more than £55,000.

Half of the money raised goes to the church, chapel or organisation nominated by the fundraiser.

The other half goes to the Sussex Historic Churches Trust to give grants towards essential repairs and for the fabric of church buildings which can be of any denomination and must be over 100 years old.

On average, total grants each year come to about £75,000 in amounts typically of between £5,000 to £15,000.

Trophies are awarded to both the cyclists and the walkers, including an individual, team and under-16 trophy for both groups and an under-16 team cyclists trophy.

Each church is given a number of points depending on its location.

Some churches are easier to get to than others – the higher the points the harder it is to get there.

In the under 16 category Luke Ullyott from St Bartholomew’s, Rogate, collected almost twice as many stars as his closest rival and would have been placed joint second in the senior competition.

Luke has won on several previous occasions and this was his last year as a junior.

“His departure from the ranks will come as a relief to his rivals, while the senior competitors will view his arrival with trepidation,” said John Andre, area organiser for Midhurst.

Woolbeding Wheelers John Songhurst, John Andre, Mark Sharp and Jane Crawford won the team trophy.

Runners-up were the Easyriders 
from St Mary’s, Easebourne, Patty and David Christie, Helen and Mervyn Evans-Jones, David Pack, Roger Sked and Philip Stringer.

The Rev Dave Willis, vicar of Midhurst parish church, was joint third with Adrian Gunter, raising more than £600.