HUNDREDS of volunteers from across Dorset are gearing up to pedal for their parish church at an annual event.

This year’s Ride+Stride, in aid of Dorset Historic Churches Trust (DCHT) takes place on Saturday, September 9.

The annual fundraising day invites participants to cycle, walk and even ride a horse to Dorset’s churches and chapels between 10am-6pm. 

There is no official route and participants seek sponsorship to visit as many as they feel able to, or for simply taking part. Riders and striders will be raising money for the maintenance and repair of Dorset’s historic churches, with all sponsorship split between DHCT and their nominated church.

Chairman of DHCT, Simon Pomeroy, said: “We are very much looking forward to this year’s event and hope to see many people out and about enjoying the Dorset countryside on the day, both those who are new to the event as well as our seasoned cyclists. Last year, we raised over £81,000 in sponsorship funds, with 200 churches taking part. 

“Without the vital support of the community we couldn’t continue the work we do to help preserve the county’s churches and, this year, we hope even more people will take part. We’ll all be pedalling for our parish and can’t wait to welcome everyone on September 9!” 

Dorset is filled with spectacular church heritage and the event presents an opportunity for all the family to explore the history and architecture of churches, some of which are not regularly open. 

Riders and striders can make their way around over 300 churches across towns and villages, while stopping off at the local pubs and village greens for a late summer’s lunch and well-earned rest. 

Experienced riders will plot their route to keep well off the busy main roads and all participants will be able use the Ride+Stride page on the Trust’s website to check the map locations of every church. 

Riders and striders who have taken part in previous years will be looking out for fellow fundraisers to join together for the day’s event, catch up or even compete against them. This team community gathers pledges on traditional paper forms or through Just Giving on the Trust’s website to donate all the funds raised through the fantastic team effort.

Since 1991, the Trust has raised over £1,000,000 from the Ride+Stride event, formerly known as the Great Cycle Ride. Fifty percent of the funds raised are returned to the parish chosen by the rider, and there is keen competition to gain the most sponsorship. The Trustees award the Morshead Trophy to the parish which they consider to be the most deserving. Last year, the prestigious trophy was awarded to Richard Benjamin for raising £1,530 on behalf of St Giles’ and a further £300 from the Chideock Martyrs Roman Catholic church.

For more information about the Ride+Stride or to join in the fun, contact Anna Butler on 01305 260004 or or visit