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Why I Ride + Stride

We asked Ride + Stride regular Ed Compton about how he got involved in the event and just what makes the day so special.

Back in 2003 I was asked by my church to cycle for the Notts Historic Churches Trust. Accordingly I did that and have been hooked ever since. So why?

As an occasional cyclist it’s a good way to get out with a route.

Mapping and planning how to join up the dots while avoiding main roads is an exercise in itself. (See blog post about riding Route 6 of the National Cycle Network!) Going round one’s contacts to raise funds is a social activity and it is surprising how well my begging is received. During the first ten years or so I would cycle 50 -65 miles, visiting about 35 churches of all denominations. With my wearing out over time this has reduced somewhat to about 25 churches.

Arriving at an open church is always a pleasure with an opportunity to chat with the locals, hearing about long term vacancies for clerics and church warden replacements. Being inside tells so many stories that don’t feature outside. Being in pouring rain begs for a respite, as happened one year from Stow in Lindsey to Newark. Church porches help then.
Finding an event at a church in full swing is a bonus, even a wedding or a coffee morning, and Middle England bursts with joy. Scarecrow festivals add variety too!

Particular interiors have great resonance. From mediaeval pews with their misericords (Holme) and extravagant alabaster tombs for the Elizabethan squire, some of whom were in government then (Langar). Stonemasons telling stories in stone.

There’s a church about every one and a half miles throughout the county. All of them have a story to tell from a thousand years to less than a hundred and are just waiting for your visit this September to discover them.

See you out there!
Ed Compton, St Giles’ Edingley