- Petersfield Ramblers walk with Ride and Stride: 11 September 2021
- Walk Leader: Christine Tully
- Distance: 8 -10 miles
- Start: Beckham Lane CP: GR SU740 238
Ride and Stride takes place on the 2nd Saturday in September, so this year it took place on Sept 11th and in 2022 it will be on Sept 10th. It is a sponsored fund-raising event organised by Hampshire and the Islands Historic Churches Trust (HIHCT), to contribute to the maintenance and repair of historic church buildings. Many of these buildings are fighting a battle against the ravages of time. With reducing amounts of public funding available, the task of maintenance and repair often falls on a small group of people, but such people can apply to the Trust for a grant towards the cost. This helps to preserve an important part of the country’s heritage and supports the ongoing use of churches as centres of worship and community amenities.
Participants in Ride and Stride visit churches in the area, either by cycling or walking, (or even by car or public transport!). Cycling is most popular as more churches can be visited in one day. In the Petersfield area, cyclists took part from St Peter’s Petersfield, St Mary’s Buriton and the Petersfield United Reformed Church (URC). However, several members of St Peter’s are members of Petersfield Ramblers. Therefore, other members of the club are invited to join us to ramble our usual 8-10 miles, but visiting several churches en-route.
This year, the ramble, led by Christine Tully, started from Beckham Lane and followed footpaths to Tilmore Road and from there to Steep Church. Here, we were warmly welcomed by Amanda who provided light refreshments. We then walked to Ridge Common Lane and then took the footpath which climbed Ridge Hanger. The most strenuous part of the walk was now over and we then followed lanes and footpaths to Froxfield. We were again warmly welcomed at St Peter’s High Cross and we ate our lunch sitting on a bench in the churchyard. Descending via Lythe Hanger, we made our way to Stroud Chapel, and then took the footpaths from Mellstock Farm back to Beckham Lane. This ended the walk for the ramblers but Christine visited all the churches in Petersfield and enjoyed tea and cake at Petersfield URC, noted for its excellent hospitality on Ride and Stride days.
Author: Christine Tully
Photos: Rachel Nasif