Ride & Stride

Ride & Stride began in Suffolk in 1981 as a fund-raising bike ride and quickly became a national event. Over 30 counties now take part on the second Saturday in September annually.

  • Setting off from St Mary the Virgin, Lakenheath
  • Ready and waiting at Holy Cross, Felsted
  • One cyclist's ride!
  • Setting forth from Ingatestone
  • Having fun at Buttsbury
  • Arriving in Maldon, Ride & Tide 2022
  • St Mary Wendens Ambo to Chelmsford Cathedral
  • Our President welcomes cyclists at Stock
  • Tour de Stansted 2018
    Tour de Stansted 2018
  • Ride & Stride East London
    Ride & Stride East London
Ride and Stride logo

Supported by the National Churches Trust and in partnership with county-based local churches trusts, Ride + Stride opens the doors to some of England’s most rare and unusual places of worship. The Friends of Essex Churches Trust strive to raise money to award grants to preserve and improve Christian places of worship of all denominations in Essex, including Southend-on-Sea, Thurrock, Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest. Half of the money you raise through Ride + Stride will return to your church, and half will go into the FECT account for grants to churches throughout the county.

When is Ride + Stride?

Saturday 14th September 2024 9am-5pm. Always the second Saturday in September

Who can take part?

Absolutely everyone. From keen cyclists, hikers, families with young children, teenagers, the elderly, dog walkers - no one is prevented from participating.

Why take part?

This is FECT’s biggest fundraiser raising money for grants to places of worship across the county. Every church has its own special project: installing a kitchen or toilet, creating new seating areas, restoring pews, mending roofs or the spire etc – anything that preserves our wonderful community assets for future generations to use and enjoy.  Your church can even apply more than once! The more money we raise through R+S, the greater the number of grants we can make. Remember that half of any money you raise is returned to your church, and half goes into the main fund, a win-win situation as your church can benefit twice!

How do I take part?

Register with your local church organiser, who will supply you with the forms you need.

If you are NOT affiliated with any church, visit our R+S webpage, download the relevant form and fill in your details.

Obtain sponsorship. See below if using JustGiving.

Visit as many places of worship as you can manage on the day. You can find a list of churches near (and far from) you at https://www.achurchnearyou.com* and https://www.dioceseofbrentwood.net*.

Return all sponsorship money raised to your local organiser by the end of October.

* The Friends of Essex Churches Trust are not liable for the content of third-party websites.

I don’t Ride or Stride 

You can still participate by manning your local church and welcoming riders and striders. You might wish to organise a tour of the church, a coffee morning, a used book sale, bell ringing or any other activity that would attract visitors, and thus raise more money.

I don’t belong to a specific church

You can still visit our many beautiful places of worship and enjoy refreshments all over the county. Challenge yourself to see how many places you can visit that were previously unknown to you!

If using JustGiving

You can make an individual donation via our JustGiving page https://www.justgiving.com/foect, or you can create a page specifically for the Ride + Stride event and name the church/chapel you wish to raise funds for. If you’re unfamiliar with JustGiving, it is easy to set up your own online JustGiving page by selecting ‘Start fundraising’ at https://www.justgiving.com and entering the details requested. Please ensure that the place of worship you wish to benefit is clearly specified. Otherwise, any money you raise will go into the main FECT fund, for distribution in grants across the county.

Our churches and chapels need our help

Please support this vital annual event.  Half your sponsorship money will go to the Trust to be given in grants for church repairs and improvements, and half will go to the church of your choosing.

Please see the website (www.friendsofessexchurches.org.uk) or contact me for further information - Rachel Grainger, Ride + Stride co-ordinator for FECT,                 email: rideandstrideorganiser@friendsofessexchurches.org.uk

Publicise the event in your area

If you need help publicising the Ride + Stride event in your area there are posters below for you to download.



  • Ride & Stride 2024

    Saturday 14th September 2024

    YOUR CHARITY NEEDS YOU as never before! Gird your loins, gather a group, dust off your trainers, oil your joints...

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  • Ray Clements

    Friday 22nd March 2024

    It is with great sadness that I have to report the death of Ray Clements, treasurer to the FECT Ride...

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  • Retrospective on R&S 2023

    Thursday 18th January 2024


    Coinciding with the hottest day of the year, we nevertheless had an impressive...

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  • Ride & Stride 2023

    Thursday 24th August 2023

    Congratulations to Stephen Hasler who intends to ride a Tour de Walden - 37 churches, 70 miles, climbing 3000 feet.

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  • Presentation of the Ride & Stride Fundraising Trophy

    Thursday 25th May 2023

    On the evening of Thursday, 25th May the Ride+Stride Fundraising Cup was presented by Julia Abel Smith, the newly elected President of...

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  • Ride & Stride 2022

    Saturday 10th September 2022

    Many people were in reflective and sombre mood following the death of Queen Elizabeth, and the annual Ride and Stride...

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  • Ride & Stride 2021

    Saturday 11th September 2021

    To raise funds for the Trust and participating churches, as well as encouraging the visiting of the many wonderful Essex...

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  • Ride & Stride 2020

    Saturday 12th September 2020

    With great regret, we have felt obliged to cancel Ride + Stride 2020. Please see download document entitled 'Ride +...

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  • Ride & Stride 2019

    Saturday 14th September 2019

    To raise funds for the Trust and participating churches, as well as encouraging the visiting of the many wonderful Essex...

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  • Thank you for supporting the 2018 Ride & Stride

    Sunday 9th September 2018

    A big thank you to our members and supporters who put in the leg work and got behind our Ride+Stride...

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