Ride and Stride 2009
The Friends of Essex Churches Trust is a registered charity set up in 1951. It raises money for grants to repair and restore Christian churches and chapels in Essex and the five London boroughs formerly part of the county: Barking & Dagenham, Havering, Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest. The organisation is non-denominational.
Money for grants is raised by donations, legacies and fund-raising events such as parties, visits, lectures and the annual Ride & Stride, which takes place on the second Saturday every September. All staff are volunteers, so that every penny raised is handed on to places of worship which need help.
Most people taking part in the annual Ride and Stride sponsorship event raise money by either cycling or walking to as many participating churches as possible. Some choose a different mode of transport. For the past few years Dave Wright from Hedingham Baptist Church has driven to churches on a carriage drawn by his pony Pebbles. Together they managed to visit ten churches and cover a distance of around 28 miles. This year Derek Barton, also from Hedingham Baptist Church, performed sterling work as groom and back stepper. Church members Lynn Wright and Dawn Beadle acted as support crew.