Even peo­ple of no faith value her­itage of our churches

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - COMMUNITY -

IT WAS a great plea­sure to be able to support the ‘Ride and Stride’ day on Septem­ber 13, to raise funds for Buck­ing­hamshire’s churches of all de­nom­i­na­tions.

The pur­pose of this event, in which I take part ev­ery four years, is for peo­ple to visit as many churches as they can, to raise money for the Buck­ing­hamshire His­toric Churches Trust, so that this or­gan­i­sa­tion can help with the re­pair or restora­tion of churches and chapels.

The rule is, though, that the vis­its must be made ‘us­ing a non-me­chan­i­cal form of trans­port’. For that rea­son I took to pedal power, trav­el­ling by bi­cy­cle. Some peo­ple chose to make their vis­its on foot, plan­ning a walk from church to church. It is also within the rules for sup­port­ers to use ‘one horse power’, by mak­ing their jour­ney on horse­back.

That day also was a fam­ily event for me, be­cause I was joined by one of my sons and to­gether we cy­cled 60 miles, vis­it­ing all 36 churches with the bound­ary of my Bea­cons­field con­stituency. We were helped by pleas­ant weather that was not too hot. I am much fit­ter for the ped­alling.

The His­toric Churches Trust is an ex­cel­lent char­ity, its pa­trons be­ing the Lord Lieu­tenant, Sir Henry Aubrey-Fletcher, and the Bishop of Buck­ing­ham. Thanks to the gen­er­ous support I have re­ceived. I have to date raised more than £3,000 and I am very grate­ful to all who have sup­ported the char­ity by spon­sor­ing them.

Our churches are com­mu­nity cen­tres by their very na­ture and the work done within their parishes helps peo­ple ir­re­spec­tive of their re­li­gious faith.

Our church build­ings are part of the Buck­ing­hamshire land­scape, as well. The up­keep of such build­ings, what­ever their age, is a big un­der­tak­ing for the faith com­mu­nity, but it can be sur­pris­ing how peo­ple of other faiths or of none will still value and wish to see th­ese his­toric build­ings con­tinue to be kept in good re­pair.

Do­minic Grieve MP for Bea­cons­field

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