MORE than 400 historic churches across the county will be open to the public for an annual event to raise upkeep funds.
This year’s annual Ride and Stride is set to raise more funds than ever as 34 churches in Portsmouth will open their doors on Saturday, September 14.
Also taking part will be 26 churches in the Havant area and 19 across Fareham and Gosport.
Organised by Hampshire and the Islands Historic Churches Trust, the event allows people to visit churches with ancient bell towers, interiors reflecting rich heritage, and often in beautiful settings.
Geoffrey Wort of Hampshire’s Ride and Stride said: ‘Ride and Stride is a great fun day out giving visitors a chance to see inside lots of beautiful historic churches which are often shut and the sponsorship money earned goes towards ensuring these fabulous churches are updated and maintained for future generations.’
To take part, visit the Hampshire and The Islands Historic Churches Trust page on the Virgin Money Giving website and sign up to visit as many churches as you like by foot, bicycle, scooter, canoe, tandem, pushchair or car.
The trust is a registered charity which raises funds for grants and loans towards the upkeep of 900 fully functioning historic church buildings representing many different Christian traditions.
Last year’s event raised a record £65,000 for essential church repairs, renovation and restoration helping churches be fit for the community and to preserve them for future generations with modern facilities and repairs.
To find a sponsorship form, and to find out which churches are taking part, visit hihct.org.uk