Two local residents decided to take part in this years Ride and Stride for Somerset Churches Trust when they heard that their local vicar, who is also the Rural Dean of Crewkerne, Reverend Jonathan Morris was still on sabbatical. Paul and Diane Bradly of Misterton, feared that a vacuum and lost opportunity would arise unless someone else stepped in to cover the Reverend Morris’ annual fund-raising ride. Reverend Morris, an experienced and keen cyclist had cycled between various Somerset churches in previous years, raising significant sums of money for the Somerset Churches Trust. The Trusts funds help the structural maintenance of churches in the county.

Paul and Diane Bradly undertook the task in their classic car, a BMW Cabriolet. In just seven and a half hours they visited 24 churches in South Somerset. This represented a quarter of all the Anglican churches in Somerset that were involved in the Ride & Stride. Paul recorded over 110 miles, driving mostly down narrow country lanes and Diane walked over two and a half miles from their classic car to each church, where she signed in. Diane observed that the common feature in all of the Somerset churches that they visited on their days outing, was that they were loved and well cared for. In churches where members of the congregation were present, she noticed how friendly everyone was.

The Bradlys travelled on roads they had never been on before with many spectacular views across the Somerset countryside. Paul Bradly was particularly thrilled to visit the church in Yeovil where he had worshipped as a teenager. Although not gaining as much in sponsorship as the Reverend Morris, Paul and Diane believe they have raised between £400 to £500 for the Somerset Churches Trust. They would like to thank all those who supported them and remind their friends in Crewkerne and in the surrounding villages, that it is still not too late to donate monies to the churches charitable cause.

The Ride & Stride is the most important fund-raising event for Somerset Churches Trust and is part of the National Churches Trust annual event. Those taking part on Saturday September 9th used a variety of ways to visit the churches which included walking, cycling, horse riding and motoring. There was also a coach trip organised for parishioners to visit the churches over the fund-raising weekend.

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