WINCHESTER is gearing up for annual Ride and Stride on Saturday September 14 when more than 30 historic churches will be open to the public.

Seventeen churches will be open in the city itself, from The Quaker Meeting House in Colebrook Street to the Cathedral and from the church of St Swithun to the University of Winchester Chapel.

A similar number again will be open from All Saints in Barton Stacey to St James in Woodmancote and from St Michael and All Angels in Bullington to Holy Trinity in Wonston.

In total over 400 historic churches throughout Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will be open to the public.

Organised by Hampshire and the Islands Historic Churches Trust, Ride and Stride allows people to visit often old and beautiful churches with ancient bell towers, interiors reflecting our rich heritage, often in beautiful settings.

The trust is a registered charity which raises funds for grants and loans towards the upkeep of 900 fully functioning historic church buildings representing many different Christian traditions.

Last year’s Ride and Stride raised a record £65,000 last year for essential church repairs, renovation and restoration helping churches be fit for the community and to preserve them for future generations.

Applications for funds doubled over the year before with requests for modern facilities and repairs to the rich fabric, which is such a feature of historic churches.

Anyone wishing to take part just needs to visit the Hampshire And The Islands Historic Churches Trust page on the Virgin Money Giving website sign up to visit as many local churches as they like by foot, bicycle, scooter, canoe, tandem or pushchair, or a car.

This year the churches taking part in Winchester are All Saints; Winchester Cathedral; Christ Church; Holy Trinity; St Barnabas; St Bartholomew, St Cross with Saint Faith; St John the Baptist; St John’s Chapel; St Lawrence; St Matthew; St Paul; St Peter; St Swithun; United Church; University of Winchester Chapel; Quaker Meeting House.

There will be 29 in Alresford, and 16 in villages in and around Bishop’s Waltham. The full list is available on the website.

To find a sponsorship form, and to find out which churches are taking part, visit to