It is an event which has become well established in our September programme – the annual Ride and Stride.

It was originally a bike ride for everyone to cycle from church to church, enjoy the beautiful countryside and raise money.

But now ‘stride’ has been added to the title, giving everyone the chance to walk or, as the church authorities say, do “anything you like”.

Two years ago, the Bishop of Oxford, the Right Rev Steven Croft, supported the event by taking a narrowboat on the Thames.

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The money raised over the years has helped keep many of our historic churches in good order.

The picture above was taken in 1990 as a team prepared to set off from All Saints Church at Marcham, near Abingdon.

The annual event is organised by the Historic Churches Trust, which recently allocated £109,000 for work at 11 churches in Oxfordshire.

Grants of £20,000 were given to St Andrew’s Church at Wheatfield, near Thame, for conservation work, St Mary the Virgin at Wheatley for extensive refurbishment and to All Saints at Mixbury, near Banbury, for urgent repairs and restoration work.

St Mary’s at Longworth received £13,000 for urgent repairs to its bell tower.

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Smaller grants were given to St Etheldreda’s at Horley, near Banbury, Didcot Baptist Church, St Margaret’s at Binsey, St Peter’s at Great Haseley, Watlington Methodist Church, St Mary’s at Sydenham, near Thame, and St Thomas’s at Elsfield.

Nationally, in 2019, Ride and Stride raised more than £1.2m.