On the 11th September 2021, James Cartlidge MP took part in the annual Suffolk Historic Churches Ride & Stride, raising more than £1000 for the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust (SHTC). Founded in 1973, SHTC makes grants to churches and chapels of all denominations towards the repairs, improvements and restoration of our beautiful Suffolk churches.
James cycled 57 miles to 20 South Suffolk churches as follows: Leavenheath; Stoke By Nayland; Higham; Stratford St Mary; Brantham RC; Harkstead; Erwarton; Shotley; Chelmonidston Methodist and CofE; Woolverstone; Freston; Belstead; Copdock; Burstall; Elmsett; Naughton; Nedging; Bildeston; Hitcham.
Speaking after the event, Mr Cartlidge said:
“I started my ‘Ride & Stride’ cycle circuit of churches from St Matthew’s Leavenheath, requiring thousands of pounds funding to fix its roof, scaffolding hiding much of the building. After peddling up to the Shotley peninsula, I finished up at Hitcham church which has just completed a massive fundraising programme to pay for the restoration of its bell frame, striking their first peel for a century on Saturday to mark the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
"Whether church goers or not, I think local people really understand the sheer scale of cost need to maintain our most beautiful architectural heritage, and it was a pleasure to participate in ‘Ride & Stride’ for the third year running.
"I am grateful to all my sponsors, and in particular, to everyone else who participated and all the volunteers who manned places of worship throughout the day, providing refreshment to keep us riders and striders going."