As a charity we are always looking for interesting, enjoyable ways to raise money, to be innovative, and to stay ahead of the curve. Initiatives in recent years such as Music in Quiet Places and the Adam Darnley memorial lecture have proved popular and successful. Over the years Ride and Stride has produced a significant income for us and participating churches, particularly in the early years when the idea was fresh in everyone’s minds. Like many other charities, however, we will have to do things differently in the future. There is more competition for the public’s time and purses and a smaller pool of people prepared to undertake Ride and Stride or to provide sponsorship. The roads are busier and the lack of participants erodes the goodwill the Trust builds in the parishes as churches make an effort to open up and provide a welcome, only for no one to turn up. We are enormously grateful for those stalwarts who took part in recent years but feedback suggests that the event has run its race. COVID-19 has made us look long and hard at our fundraising and we feel that our time would be better used elsewhere.
I would like to thank personally all those who have participated in Ride and Stride in previous years – both as participants, as organisers and those, before me, on the committee. I know an awful lot of time and energy went into making the event a success and I’m so grateful that people donated so much of their time for the benefit of our shared church heritage. My heartfelt thanks go to all of them.
More generally, I want to reassure you that we are still ‘open for business’ and are still giving out grants and loans where required. The period of lockdown has effectively delayed any building project or fundraising by at least six months and has certainly put paid to our plans and social events. I hope we will be able continue them next year with extra vigour.
David Furnival – Chairman