Team Whitchurch takes on the 2021 Ride and Stride Challenge

An Ode to Ride and Stride 2021, Whitchurch Canonicorum

We rode, we strode, we "tractored" and ran! 
The weather was 'Fair' and we took to the land. 

Thirteen striders strong and one runner to boot, 
set off from St Candida on a ten mile set route.

Four cyclists met at St Giles, 
contemplating the thirty-four miles
Late joined by a fifth, 
reinforcing the 'it's-going-to-be-a-hilly-ride' myth

Ten tractor drivers came on later 
with revving engines and tuned carburettors 
Setting off from the Five Bells
Shining from front grills to wheel wells
In vintage Massey, Ford and Brown 
Gathering from farms all around

We rode, we strode, we "tractored" and ran!
The weather was 'Fine' and we took to the land.

The striders rambled off southwards to take in the sights
Of sea and coast path, navigating stiles of great heights.
Visiting two different St Gabriel's, one standing, one a ruin
Stopping to rest in the sunshine of the autumn afternoon

One brave runner, fleet of foot, 
From the walkers the lead he took
Garnering local support on social media
Finished and first returned he was to St Candida

Up Wootton, Up Lyme Hill, Up up dingly dell,
The path that the cyclists rode went (sometimes?!) downwards as well.
Stopping at Saint Giles and Ignatius then Saints Gabriel and Paul
Saints Michael, Mary and John, Seventeen churches in all

Through the Vale trailed the tractors, a row of red, blue, grey and brown
Drivers lunched in a sheep shed between Broadoak and Seatown
They putt-putted the crest of Stonebarrow and could be easily seen
Chuntering through Charmouth, then back to Whitchurch by fields green

We rode, we strode, we "tractored" and ran!
The weather was 'partly sunny' and we took to the land.

At the end of the day, 
All finally found their way
Walkers, fast group and slow, 
Tractors, after thirty miles on the go
Cyclists, delayed by a puncture
At the very last juncture

What a merry day we had
And were we ever more than glad
To reach St Candida and Holy Cross
And see tables hosted by Sue, Kay, Judith and Ros
Sandwiches and cakes and tea
All kindly produced by Whitchurch PCC.

We rode, we strode, we "tractored" and ran!
The weather cooperated and we took to the land.

Betsy West Parish Organiser, Whitchurch Canonicorum

We had a terrific day Riding and Striding on 11th September. Thanks to Team Whitchurch for a great effort and to all of our sponsors throughout the community who have donated £1520 (not including Gift Aid) as of the end of October.  Richard Benjamin, Parish Organiser for Chideock rode for St Giles and St Ignatius, joined the riders and, separately, raised money for both churches in Chideock.    All money goes to Dorset Historic Churches Trust which returns half to our nominated church and uses the rest to fund its generous grants for churches throughout the county. It’s not too late to donate to this year’s appeal:

For more information on Dorset Historic Churches Trust please see:

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