AGM report

It was announced at our Annual General Meeting held in Winchester Cathedral on 22 June 2021 that our popular Ride+Stride event in 2020 raised an incredible over £80,000, despite the pandemic.

Newcomers to the top 20 churches were Portsmouth Roman Catholic Cathedral £1,367; St Bartholomew, Hyde, Winchester £1,295; St Mary’s Longstock £1,202; and Beaulieu Abbey £1,135.

The Brian Hay Award was presented by the Reverend Margaret Hay to the South Wight Area Youth Group upon their success in cycling route of 27.7 miles and visiting 7 churches on the Isle of Wight. 10 young people aged between 11 and 16 years were accompanied by 4 adults.

Special thanks for their personal fundraising efforts were made to:

  • These included a 50 km bike ride to visit 12 churches around Odiham by an elderly but fit couple, Mr and Mrs Fleming who won the Outstanding Personal Effort award. Normally they would have been sailing off the coast of Turkey but instead John, aged 80, and Helen trained to get fit for the challenge and raised £3,301 for All Saints Odiham.
  • Norman Denison raising £1,670 sponsorship in memory of his daughter, Christine, who died recently of cancer. Norman was joined by his son Tim and Christine’s husband, Rev’d Chris Pettet. St Peter & St Paul Kings Somborne benefited
  • Ian Hughes and his son Cameron Hughes had been cycling together in aid of Ride&Stride for 19 years, since Cameron was 10 years old and these rides together were described as “A life-defining experience”. They raised £1,470 for Froxfield Church, Petersfield.
  • Moyra Harkness, a Church Representative for St Thomas, Woolton Hill near Newbury was given an award as she has been a great supporter of the Trust for many years and last year raised £860 by successfully seeking sponsorship from a great variety of individual donations from friends and local organisations.
  • François Hugo cycled over 118 km to visit 34 churches in the Romsey area, starting at 0740 and finishing at 16.50.

The Chairman, Lady Joan Appleyard, set a target of £100,000 to be raised on Saturday 11 September 2021 at this year’s Ride and Stride event. The Trust aims to open over 400 churches, many with refreshments, to welcome families and visitors who want to go inside unique historic buildings, see beautiful countryside, get some exercise and have fun. Anyone wanting to take part should visit the Trust’s website https://hihct.org.uk/ridestride-participant-registration/ and create a Virgin Money giving page straight away.

The Trust contributed over £80,000 in grants to 13 churches. This meant the rickety steps outside Littleton Church near Winchester, the cracks in the walls of Breamore Church near Fordingbridge and the tower at St Mary the Blessed Virgin Mary, Hartley Wespall were all repaired. The spire was repaired urgently at the Church of the Holy Rood, Empshott near Liss to make good damage from water ingress, squirrels and woodpeckers, and St Matthew’s Blackmoor and Whitehill received a new, level chancel floor.

Finally the Corrinne Bennett Award was presented to St Simon & St Jude, Bramdean As well as once being Winchester Cathedral’s Architect, Corrinne Bennett was also a founding member of Hampshire and the Islands Historic Churches Trust. Her passion was stonework and so, in her memory, each year we give a grant of £500 to a church whose stonework project is of a high standard.