Friends of Essex Churches Trust

Supporting Christian Churches & Chapels in Essex & East London

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Counting down to your next Ride+Stride adventureCounting down to your next Ride+Stride adventure

Ride+Stride

Thanking everyone for their amazing support for Ride+Stride 2016, John Pickthorn, our Ride+Stride organiser, said: “Whether you cycled, walked, sponsored someone, or opened your church and provided welcome refreshments, you have been amazing. Thank you for all your hard work. You have helped to save beautiful and historic churches for everyone to enjoy.” Stay tuned for news of our next Ride+Stride on Saturday 9 September 2017.

R+S 2016

The rain did not dampen the spirits of this team from St Barnabas’ church in Walthamstow.

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Essex farmers will take part in Ride+Stride on tractor

David and Mel Robarts, Ride and Stride, Sept 13 2014
Picture by Tony Robarts

Little Hallingbury farmers, David and Mel Robarts will be taking part in the countrywide church charity event, Ride+Stride on Saturday September 13 with a difference…They will be not be cycling or walking like the other participants but driving their vintage tractor.

And there will be another difference. To mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War One David will be dressed as a WW1 soldier and Mel as a nurse.

Ride+Stride is a sponsored bike ride or walk discovering England's heritage of churches, chapels and meeting houses. Last year 600 local participants in Ride+Stride raised more than £85,000 for the repair and upkeep of churches and chapels of all denominations in Essex and East London.

To find out how to take part locally and download a sponsorship form please visit www.foect.org.uk/rideandstride.

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David and Mel's itinerary

10am - Little Hallingbury Church

The Chapel, Gaston Green
Sheering Village Church
Hatfield Heath Village Church
United Reform Church, Hatfield Heath
Matching Green Church
Little Laver Church

1.00 pm - Abbess Roding Church for Flower Festival and Lunch

2.00 pm - White Roding Church

Hatfield Broad Oak Church
Bush End Church
Great Hallingbury Church

5.30 pm - Little Hallingbury

All timings are approximate and the itinerary may need to be altered due to unforeseen circumstances.

Colchester choir will take part in Ride+Stride steeplechase on September 13

Colchester choir
Picture courtesy of Colchester Chamber Choir.

Shoppers in Colchester town centre can look forward to a choral treat when the Mayor and Mayoress of Colchester, Cllr John and Mrs Janet Elliott, launch the first ever charity ‘Choral Steeplechase’ at Holy Trinity Church in Trinity Street at 10 am.

Twenty-five singers from the renowned Colchester Chamber Choir – which was recently featured on Radio 3 – will sing their way around as many churches as they can in one day, starting with those in Colchester town centre. In each church, the choir will sing a short unaccompanied work from their varied repertoire. Each singer will be sponsored according to the number of churches they manage to visit.

Half of the funds they raise will go to the choir’s ‘Choral Apprenticeship’ scheme helping to support young singers and musicians at the start of their careers. The other half will go to the Friends of Essex Churches Trust which makes grants to local churches in need of repairs and restoration work.

On September 13 church supporters are being sponsored to jump on their bikes or put on their walking boots and visit as many churches as possible. Ride+Stride is open to everyone. To find out how to take part locally and download a sponsorship form please visit www.foect.org.uk/rideandstride.

To sponsor the choir please email info@colchesterchamberchoir.org.

More information

Ride+Stride is a sponsored bike ride or walk discovering England’s heritage of churches, chapels and meeting houses. Last year participants in Ride+Stride raised more than £85,000 for the repair and upkeep of churches and chapels of all denominations in Essex and East London.

With the Church of England’s 12,500 listed churches alone facing an estimated repair backlog of £60 million, the money raised by Ride+Stride is a vital lifeline to many places of worship unable to afford the high cost of looking after buildings that are often several hundreds of years old.

Ride+Stride started in Suffolk in 1981 and was soon taken up in other English counties. It has now raised over £29 million to help maintain and restore churches and chapels.

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Our calling is always to build and restore says Bishop

Gepp Lecturer 2014, Bishop Graeme Knowles, with James Bettley, Chairman  - Friends of Essex Churches Trust

Gepp Lecturer 2014, Bishop Graeme Knowles, with James Bettley, Chairman - Friends of Essex Churches Trust

Former chairman of the Council for the Care of Churches, Bishop Graeme Knowles, has said the Church’s calling is to build and restore.

With worship being a community based activity, the Church is forever building and restoring not only places of stone and mortar but also the communities which are housed within those places, said Bishop Graeme.

The Bishop was delivering the Friends of Essex Churches Trust’s second Gepp Lecture on 15 May 2014 at St Andrew’s church in Hatfield Peverel.

Listen to the lecture >>

Forthcoming events >>

Free lecture on May 15 – “Why do church buildings still have such a pull on people?”

Graeme KnowelsOn Thursday 15 May, at St Andrew’s church in Hatfield Peverel, at 8.15 pm Graeme Knowles will speak about the enduring role of church buildings in landscape and community and look at the way they represent continuity in a fast-changing society.

This free lecture, in the annual Gepp lecture series, will be given by the Rt Revd Graeme Knowles CVO, formerly Bishop of Sodor and Man and Dean of St Paul’s.

It will follow the Annual General Meeting of The Friends of Essex Churches Trust at 7.15 pm and refreshments from 7.45 pm.

Non-members of The Friends of Essex Churches Trust are welcome to attend.

Please email jamesbettley@btinternet.com for further information and to reserve your place.

More information

The postcode of St Andrew's, Hatfield Peverel, is CM3 2LE.

Using the words of poets such as T S Eliot, Sir John Betjeman and Longfellow amongst others, Graeme Knowles in his Gepp Lecture 2014 seeks to establish why our built eccelesiastical heritage still has such a pull on us as human beings.

He looks into the part our churches play in landscape, community and in the way that they represent continuity in a fast changing society.

Graeme Knowles was a Diocesan Advisory Committee Chair in the 1980s in Portsmouth. Elected to the Council for the Care of Churches, he went on to become vice-chairman and then chairman, seeing the council through into its present form, the Church Buildings Council. A member of the Ecclesiastical Law Society almost from its foundation, he has also been an archdeacon, a cathedral dean and a diocesan bishop.

News and Annual ReportDownload our News and Annual Report

Read all about it!

Writing in our latest News and Annual Report James Bettley, our chairman thanks all the volunteers who work so hard to keep our beautiful churches in good order and in a fit state to meet the needs both of their congregations and of the wider community.

News and Annual Report Look inside to read the chairman's message - plus details of our events, grants, the 2013 Ride & Stride, our study days and lots more besides!

A £5,000 grant for the church in Great Bromley.

A grant of £5,000 from the Friends of Essex Churches Trust has enabled repair and re-plastering work to get under way at the magnificent St George’s church in Great Bromley.

The internal wall of the south aisle has suffered from damp for many years. Unfortunately twentieth century repairs in non-traditional materials have eroded the stonework and damaged large areas of plaster.

In 2013 damaged plaster from the internal wall was stripped back and the external drainage was improved.

Now the internal wall is being repaired and replastered with the help of our grant. We are grateful to our supporters for making these grants possible.

Slide Show (Images courtesy of Gregory Frostick)

  1. Exterior
  2. General view of the wall showing the ironstone rubble being covered with the new plaster. This layer is mixed with hair in the traditional way and brings the wall to a new level surface. When that has dried after a few days a final layer of traditional plaster will be applied.
  3. a) Window reveal shows stage One of repair - consolidation of the wall and infilling with first plaster layer.
  4. Window reveal at stage Two, with 3 new stones in Richmont limestone in position and the first overall coat of plaster.
  5. Medieval corbel figure found during repairs to the south wall. It still has the original colour.

Fobbing church window restored

Fobbing church window restore

A grant of £15,000 from the Friends of Essex Churches Trust has funded the restoration of a chapel window at the east end of St Michael?s church, Fobbing [link to http://www.stmichaelsfobbing.org.uk/welcome.htm] near Stanford-le-Hope.

The rector, Father David Rollins said: ?We are privileged to worship in such a beautiful and historic building. We take our responsibility very seriously to maintain this important church.

?We are extremely grateful to the Friends of Essex Churches Trust for their support.?

This restoration was part of a larger project involving repairs to stonework around the south window. St Michael?s is a grade 1 listed building.

The picture shows the restoration work in progress.

FECT pitches in give church a new roof

FECT pitches in give church a new roof

The Friends of Essex Churches Trust has given £8,000 to a major roof repair project under way at St John the Baptist Church in Mount Bures.

Water was leaking onto the organ as its roof had got into such a sorry state.

But thanks to church fundraising and donations, the £50,000 project is finally under way.

It looks set to last 12 weeks.

As well as the roof, work to seal the corner joints on the building’s outside walls will take place.

Andrew Colchester, a member of the Parochial Church Council and a former church warden, said: “The cost was beyond us until recently.

Time was going by and water was coming in, but we managed to get a grant from two sources.

“The Essex Environment Trust gave £15,000 and The Friends of Essex Churches Trust gave £8,000.

“These two offers, taken with fundraising we have been doing on behalf of the church, meant we were in a position to proceed.

“At long last we have got the funds in place and the builder is able to start work.”

This report and picture are reproduced by kind permission of The Daily Gazette.

MBE for David Lodge, Grants Committee Chair, Friends of Essex Churches Trust

MBE for David Lodge

Congratulations to David Lodge, our Grants Committee Chair, on his appointment as a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year Honours List. This Honour has been awarded for Building Conservation.

David was born in Hastingwood near Harlow and has lived all his life in Essex.

Over 40 years ago he founded a building contractor's business which specialised in church repairs. By the time he retired the company had carried out work on 623 churches and cathedrals.

He became a member of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) and for nearly 30 years was a Trustee of the Society during which time he served as Vice-Chairman and then Chairman.

In 2002 when he was Chairman, SPAB celebrated its 125th anniversary and during that celebration his idea to have a National Maintenance Week was set in motion. This is now in its eleventh year. It culminates on the Friday of the week with National Gutters Day.

More recently he has chaired the Steering Committee of Faith in Maintenance, a scheme funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. This project produced a DVD on How to care for your church, in which he took an active part.

David retired in 2002 and was immediately approached to join the Grants Committee of the Friends of Essex Churches Trust (FECT). During the past seven years he has been Chair of the Grants Committee and he serves on the Executive Committee. In the last year he has been involved in setting up a Gutter Clearance Scheme for the Diocese of Chelmsford which is supported by FECT. Also since retirement he has been appointed as a specialist fabric adviser to the Chelmsford Diocesan Advisory Committee for the Care of Churches.

GUTTER CLEARANCE SCHEME

The Friends of Essex Churches Trust is proud to support the Diocese of Chelmsfords Gutter Clearance Scheme, launched on 29 November 2013. The aim of the Scheme is to encourage churches to carry out regular maintenance of their gutters, downpipes and drains, and to make this easier the Diocese has accredited four contractors who are approved to carry out this work. We are supporting the Scheme by offering an automatic grant of £50 to the first 100 parishes to have their gutters cleared using one of the accredited contractors.

For further details, please go to http://www.chelmsford.anglican.org/gutters.

To apply for a grant, please contact:
John Bloomfield,
39 Lake Rise,
Romford RM1 4DZ
01708 745273
john.bloomfield@btinternet.com

As with all our grants, Christian churches of all denominations are eligible.

The problem: a blocked and overflowing gutter can cause damage to your building that might cost thousands of pounds to put right.

Gutter maintenance

The solution: The Ven. Martin Webster, Archdeacon of Harlow, getting his hands dirty clearing the gutters at Galleywood.
Archdecon

 

A leaflet describing the Scheme can be downloaded by clicking here.

There is also a comprehensive Information Pack which can be downloaded here.

Come to Hylands House on October 16 and get your Christmas shopping done early!

The High Sheriff of Essex Mrs Julia Abel Smith will open our popular Christmas Gift Fair on Wednesday October 16.

The Fair will offer opportunities for early Christmas shopping in the elegant surroundings of Hylands House.

The organiser Catharine Hutley from Hartford End has said:

"Get your Christmas shopping done early under one roof - come to Hylands House on Wednesday October 16 and help the Friends of Essex Churches Trust preserve our beautiful churches for future generations!"

Opening times 10.00 am - 3.00 pm. Wine and light lunches will be available. Entrance £5 (includes coffee and biscuits) or £2.50 after 1.30pm. Free parking.

The 2013 Christmas card from the Friends of Essex Churches Trust goes on sale at the Fair.

Please click on the card image to view the content.

2013 Christmas Card

 

Packs of ten can also be ordered at £4.50 per pack plus P&P from Catharine Hutley, tel 01371 820344.

The venue Hylands House, Chelmsford CM2 8WQ is just off the A414.

 

2013 Ride + Stride Photo Album

View images from the 2013 Ride + Stride event.

Please click on the album image below.

2013 photo album

 

Brentwood quartet will hit the right note with Tendring churches cycle ride

Four singers from the Brentwood area will be in harmony with a good cause when they get on their bikes on September 14 and support the sponsored Ride and Stride of the Friends of Essex Churches Trust. In addition to cycling around Tendring district churches, they will sing a selection of four-part motets in each church which they visit.

Richard Baker, who co-founded SongCycle in 1996, said: "Last year we cycled 40 miles, visited 25 churches and sang 15 different motets. To date SongCycle have raised about £30,000 for the Friends of Essex Churches Trust. Churches need funds for essential repairs and restoration work. This is a very good cause."

This year SongCycle's sponsored ride will start at St Andrew's Church in Weeley at 9.00am and cover up to 50 churches of various denominations. The four singing cyclists will do a circuit of churches in Little Clacton, Great Clacton, Great Holland, Kirby-le-Soken, Walton- on-the-Naze, Frinton and Tendring and return to Weeley by about 5.00pm.

Picture by Nicola Watson. Left to right: Brian Lynn, Richard Baker, Nick Rayner and Sam Adams.
Picture by Nicola Watson. Left to right: Brian Lynn, Richard Baker, Nick Rayner and Sam Adams.

More information

  • Richard, Brian and Sam are members of St Thomas Church in Brentwood, while Nick is the organist at All Saints and St Peters Church in Hutton.
  • Donations will be very much appreciated and may be made either by cheque payable to the Friends of Essex Churches Trust c/o Ray Clements, 8 Duffield Road, Great Baddow, Chelmsford CM2 9RY mentioning SongCycle or by bank transfer to R J Baker, sort code 20-12-21, account number 80134759.
  • The Ride and Stride is a sponsored cycle ride and walk. It will take place on September 14. More information about the Ride and Stride can be found at www.foect.org.uk/rideandstride.
  • A video was made of SongCycles sponsored bike ride last year and it can be viewed at vimeo.com/46585529
  • SongCycle have a website www.songcycle.co.uk.

Sue and Willy gear up for Ride and Stride 2013

Two community-minded cyclists from Farnham near Bishops Stortford will raise funds for church repairs on Saturday September 14 by getting on their bikes and pedalling away.

Sue and Willy Moloney will join more than 600 cyclists and walkers on the Friends of Essex Churches' sponsored Ride and Stride.

With hundreds of fascinating churches, chapels and meeting houses to choose from, the annual Ride and Stride is the day when sponsored cyclists and walkers get on the move, visit beautiful church buildings and show appreciation of lots of different church communities.

Sue and Willy's sponsors include members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) who worship at a meeting house in Chapel Hill, Stansted Mountfitchet.

Sue says:

"Having fairly recently become a member of the Society of Friends, I feel privileged and proud to be representing the Stansted Quakers in this year's Ride and Stride event."

"I enjoy cycling, being in the open air, exploring our lovely countryside, and visiting local places of worship."

"To do all this as a joint activity with people of different religious persuasions adds to the experience. As with other inter-church initiatives, it is valuable and enriching for all concerned."

A popular feature of the Ride and Stride with cyclists and walkers is the freedom to choose your own route. The route Sue and Willy took last year covered Farnham, Manuden, Berden, Arkesden, Clavering, Ugley and Stansted. They visited about 20 churches.

"This year we plan to get as far as Saffron Walden taking in some villages on the way, and coming back through Thaxted, Elsenham and Stansted which a slightly longer ride, weather and stamina permitting!" says Sue.

Two community-minded cyclists from Farnham near Bishops Stortford will raise funds for church repairs on Saturday September 14 by getting on their bikes and pedalling away.

Sue and Willy Moloney outside the Quaker Meeting House in Chapel Hill, Stansted Mountfitchet.

More information

  • The Ride and Stride will take place on Saturday September 14, 2013 from 10.00am-6.00pm.
  • Visit www.foect.org.uk/rideandstride/ to find out how to take part in the event.
  • Sue and Willy have a JustGiving page www.justgiving.com/Susan-Moloney where sponsorship donations will be gratefully received.
  • Half of the money raised by the sponsored cyclist or walker goes to the church or chapel of his or her choice, and the other half helps to fund grants which the Friends of Essex Churches Trust makes to churches in need of repair and restoration.
  • The Friends of Essex Churches Ride and Stride raised about £90,000 in 2012. Grants were offered to 19 churches.

Have fun with the family, enjoy some sightseeing and stop churches crumbling!

Hundreds of people will be cycling and sightseeing next month to stop churches crumbling.

They will be out and about on a sponsored Ride and Stride between churches and chapels. With hundreds to choose from, there is no shortage of fantastic churches and chapels to visit and support

Fiona Nelmes who organises the Ride and Stride for the Friends of Essex Churches Trust has said:

"The Ride and Stride is a fabulous day for all the family to take a breath of fresh air and potter around our historic churches by bicycle or on foot or any way you like."

"At the same time as exploring our beautiful countryside, you can help to raise funds to support vital church repairs and restoration."

"The proceeds will be shared between your own parish church and the significant repair and restoration work which the Friends of Essex Churches Trust supports."

Fiona Nelmes
Fiona Nelmes, Organiser Friends of Essex Churches Trust Ride and Stride

More information

  • The Ride and Stride will take place on Saturday 14 September between 10.00am and 6.00pm.
  • Taking part is easy. Suggested routes and sponsorship forms can be found here.
  • Half the money raised will go towards repairing a church building nominated by the cyclist or walker. The other half will go to repairing historic church buildings in Essex and East London.
  • Cyclists and walkers are sponsored to visit as many churches as they wish and chose their own routes.
  • Many churches will be open for a coffee morning, exhibition or flower festival on Ride and Stride Day.
  • More than 600 people took part in the Ride and Stride in 2012.
  • The 2012 event raised about £90,000.
  • The Friends of Essex Churches Trust made grant offers to 19 churches in 2012.

Cycling pilgrimage between the abbeys will be a "big adventure"

2012 CYCLING PILGRIMAGE by Colin Newman

A cycling pilgrimage between Barking Abbey and Waltham Abbey for The Friends of Essex Churches Trust will be a "big adventure."

The 17 mile route will start from St Margaret's on the site of Barking Abbey to Three Mills, Stratford, mainly following the Bazalgette Greenway. There will be time for a break there before joining the Lee Valley route all the way to Waltham Abbey.

"If you have never tried riding on these routes you're in for a big adventure. It is amazing to be travelling through the East London area away from the city streets and traffic," says organiser, Chris Abbess from Woodford Green.

The pilgrimage will take place on 14 September. Groups of cyclists will set off from St Margaret's Barking at 10.30am. They will break for lunch at about 1.00pm at Three Mills. Arrival at Waltham Abbey will be about 4.30pm.

The pilgrimage will help to contribute funds for the repair and restoration of Christian churches as part of the Friends of Essex Churches Trust sponsored Ride and Stride event that takes place on the same day.

Chris Abbess is organising the pilgrimage on behalf of the Environment Group of Chelmsford Diocese.

To take part email c.abbess@ntlworld.com, or call him on 020 8504 2344.

Dr Simon HefferSimon Heffer calls for church buildings to be nationalised

The first Annual Gepp Lecture has been given by author and journalist, Dr Simon Heffer.

The Gepp Lecture is named in honour of Major Tom Gepp, Chairman of the Friends of Essex Churches Trust 1989-95, who died in 2011.

Speaking at All Saints' Church in Writtle on 16 May 2013 Dr Heffer called for church buildings to be nationalised.

"These buildings are one of the great features not just of our landscape and of our life, but of our culture as a people and as a nation," he said. "Is any responsible government, in this day and age, really going to stand by and watch these great buildings fall into ruin?"

Simon Heffer's talk followed the Trust's AGM, and the event was generously sponsored by Gepp & Sons Solicitors, Chelmsford.

Click on the right hand image to read the lecture contents on-line. You can also download the lecture as a PDF document by clicking here.

 

 

ESSEX'S ROUND CHURCH WINS FUNDING FROM NATIONAL CHURCHES TRUST

St John the Baptist MaplesteadSt John the Baptist, Little Maplestead has been awarded a grant of £5,000 from the National Churches Trust for urgent repairs to gutters.

Welcoming the funding on behalf of The Friends of Essex Churches Trust, John Bloomfield said:

"This very special church dates from around 1335 and is one of only four round churches still in use in England. Restoration took place in the 1850s, but the original design and composition of the rotunda that forms the nave remains, as do many of the earlier fittings. The church is part of a group of four parishes in rural north Essex. The church and community actively fundraise but are still short of their target.

The church was put forward for funding by the Friends of Essex Churches Trust.

More information about the St John the Baptist, Little Maplestead at http://www.roundchurch.co.uk/

Christmas cheer from the Friends

The Friends of Essex Churches Trust is delighted to announce its latest grants:

St John the Baptist Leytonstone - £10,000 for re-plastering, stone repairs and other general works.

St Augustine of Canterbury Ashen - £9,000 for buttress repairs and plaster work.

St Anne & St Laurence Elmstead Market - £5,000 for removal and replacement of defective plaster and repairs to box pews.

Manningtree Methodist Church - £6,000 for cupola repairs, stone replacement and other general repairs.

This brings the total allocation ofgrantsofferedin 2012 to £104,000.

We are grateful to all our fund raisers and donors who have made this achievement possible.

Ancient Essex churches in the modern landscape

Ancient Essex churches in the moderm landscapeRead about Ancient Essex churches in the modern landscape. An article on this fascinating topic by our vice-chairman, Christopher Starr appeared in the October 2012 issue of Essex Life http://essex.greatbritishlife.co.uk/ and we delighted to reproduce it here with their permission.

To read the article online please click on the image.

Friends Christmas fair impresses shoppers

Friends Christmas fair impresses shoppersThe Friends of Essex Churches held their Christmas fair at Hylands House in Chelmsford on 17 October.

On behalf of the organising committee, Catharine Hutley said:

"We were delighted to welcome Bishop Stephen to our Christmas Fair at Hylands House. He and all the other shoppers seemed to be most impressed with the wide variety of stalls and merchandise on offer and that they found something to their taste and budget. We are optimistic that when we have calculated the takings we will be most satisfied with the day. The committee look forward to welcoming everyone back to Hylands next year.

"Special thanks go to Rachel Grainger who worked so hard and was responsible for the large part of the fair organisation.

Caption (l-r): Fair organiser Katie Griffith-Jones; porcelain designer Caroline Hely Hutchinson from www.chh-design.com; Bishop Stephen; organiser Catharine Hutley; chairman of Friends of Essex Churches James Bettley.

Bishop will give Christmas Gift Fair his blessing on October 17

A Christmas Gift Fair on Wednesday October 17 in aid of charity will have the blessing of the Bishop of Chelmsford, the Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell.

Bishop Stephen will officially open the Fair in Hylands House CM2 8WQ at 10.00am. Shoppers will be able to hunt down the perfect gift.

The organiser of the Fair, Catharine Hutley from Hartford End says: "An impressive range of stalls will offer lots of high quality gifts. We will have everything you need from childrens wooden toys to handmade rugs and scarves. Christmas decorations will also be on sale." The Fair offers the discerning shopper the chance to beat the Christmas rush.

"At Hylands House you will have a chance to solve all your Christmas present problems in one hit," says Catharine, "and get your shopping done early in elegant and calm surroundings."

Coffee and biscuits are included in the entrance fee which is £5 from 10.00am to 1.30pm but then drops down to only £2.50 until the Fair closes at 3.00pm.

The Fair is a popular annual occasion and it is held in a good cause. The proceeds will help the Friends of Essex Churches Trust to give grants to preserve the churches of Essex for future generations.

Catharine HutleyCatharine adds: "By shopping with us you can support a deserving local charity. Our beautiful and historic church buildings in Essex need our support. What better time to think of churches than at Christmas."

View our eventsprogramme for further details.

Videos show support for Ride & Stride on 8 September

Watch our latest video clips as riders, striders and singers from Essex and East London tell their stories about getting behind this year's Ride & Stride fund raiser on 8 September.

Ralph Meloy gives the low down about Ride+Stride, the sponsored event organised by Local Churches Trusts throughout England

To view the videos please click on the image above

MPs join Bishop in pumping up the Ride & Stride 2011

Congregation raises a cheer as Bishop presents the Cup to Kelvedon Hatch
The Bishop of Chelmsford, The Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell.

The Bishop of Chelmsford, The Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell, has sent a message of support to all those taking part in the Friends of Essex Churches Trust sponsored Ride and Stride fundraiser in September 2011.

"Churches compete with the enormous demands that the modern world places on peoples time and money, he said. "We owe an immense amount to the generosity of those who help to make our buildings some of the most beautiful places in our communities.

"The Friends of Essex Churches Trust keeps a tangible part of our inheritance in good order. More importantly it funds vital work that sustains this legacy for our present and future generations.

Last year the cyclists and walkers raised an amazing £99,268. Half the money goes to repair the local church building. The other half goes to repair church buildings in Essex and East London.

 

And Essex MPs have also given the event a push in their constituencies.

Robert Halfon MP (Harlow) said:

Congregation raises a cheer as Bishop presents the Cup to Kelvedon Hatch
left to right: Robert Halfon MP, Revd Mark Bennet - Team Rector, Great Parndon, James Bettley Friends of Essex Churches Trust, Revd Noelle Taylor Team Vicar, Great Parndon

Im so pleased to be at this beautiful church of St Mary in Great Pardon, which has just recently been restored inside. I believe that it is the perfect place to launch the Ride and Stride event, as Harlow has some of the most beautiful churches, both old and modern. I am very proud that our community is getting involved with the Ride and Stride; I think it is a wonderful idea.

 

 

 

 

Jon Cruddas MP, Canon Roger Gayler (St Mark's), James Bettley (Friends), Barry Donoghue (from church & taking part in Ride & Stride).JPG
James Duddgride MP with Claire Cottrell Chairman of the Friends of Essex Churches Trust (left) and Frances Drage, Churchwarden of St Andrews Church in Rochford which The Friends has just offered £2,000 for masonry repairs.

James Duddridge MP (Rochford & Southend East) is also right behind the Ride & Stride:

"The Ride and Stride event being held in September is a fantastic way for people to get active and visit churches in their local area that they may not have visited for a while or in some cases, have never visited, whilst raising funds for our local churches. I am looking forward in taking part, fingers crossed the weather is sunny!

 

 

 

Stephen Metcalfe MP met Don Cox when he helped to launch the Ride & Stride 2011 at St Mary's Church in Corringham . Don will be cycling 50 miles for The Friends on September 10th as usual.

Friends of Essex Churches Trust Ride & Stride 2011 - Stephen Metcalfe MP with Don Cox from St Mary's Church, Corringham
Friends of Essex Churches Trust Ride & Stride 2011 - Stephen Metcalfe MP with Don Cox from St Mary's Church, Corringham.
Stephen said: "The Friends of Essex Churches Trust Ride & Stride is a fantastic event that offers people the opportunity to visit and appreciate our rich and varied religious heritage, not only in Basildon and Thurrock but also across Essex. It is also an opportunity to raise what I am sure are much needed funds to preseve that heritage for future generations.

 

 

 

 

Friends of Essex Churches Trust Ride & Stride 2011 - Stephen Metcalfe MP with Don Cox from St Mary's Church, Corringham
Pictured (left to right): Jon Cruddas MP, Canon Roger Gayler, Vicar of St Mark's, James Bettley, Vice-Chairman - Friends of Essex Churches Trust, and Barry Donoghue who will be cycling for St Mark's.

Jon Cruddas MP said: "The Friends of Essex Churches Trust Ride & Stride is a great example of people from the various Christian denominations coming together in a good cause. The funds they raise go towards the repair of buildings that are vital community assets as well as places of worship."

The MP for Dagenham and Rainham visited St Mark's Church in Marks Gate to support the 2011 Ride & Stride.

 

 

 

A cycling pilgrimage from Barking to Waltham Abbey via Limehouse will take place on Saturday, September 10. It has been organised by Chris Abbess on behalf of the Chelmsford Diocesan Environmental Group. The pilgrimage theme is Caring for the Environment and it will help to contribute funds for the care of Essex churches as part of the annual 'Ride and Stride'.

The 23-mile route is in two parts. Starting at 10am from St Margaret's, on the site of Barking Abbey, to St Katherine's, mainly following the Bazalgette Greenway and the Limehouse Cut. There will be time for a break before retracing the path back to the Regent's Canal, Victoria Park and joining the Lee Valley route all the way to Waltham Abbey.

Chris says: "We start in groups from St Margaret's Revd Canon Gordon Tarry will be sending us off. We break for lunch at about 12.30pm at St Katherine's, Limehouse (retreat /conference centre). The Master is willing for us to eat our sandwiches on the lawn and take a peek at the chapel.

"Arrival at Waltham Abbey will be about 4.30pm. Revd Peter Smith will welcome us and we're expecting that Bishop David will address us after we have all assembled.

"If you have never tried riding on these routes you're in for a big adventure. It is amazing to be travelling through the East London area away from the city streets and traffic.

- If you would like to take part in the pilgrimage, contact Chris Abbess on 020 8504 2344.

 

Congregation raises a cheer as Bishop presents the Cup to Kelvedon Hatch
Congregation raises a cheer as Bishop presents the Cup to Kelvedon Hatch
The Rt Revd Dr Laurie Green, acting Bishop of Chelmsford, has presented the Winners Cup to Kelvedon Hatch. The presentation marks the achievement of cyclists from St Nicholas' Church, Kelvedon Hatch, in making the largest single contribution to the 2009 Ride & Stride - £2,359. The presentation took place on 2 August 2010 at the church.

 

In the picture from left to right are Fiona Nelmes (Organiser of the Ride & Stride), Chris Jardine, Ride & Stride 2009 winner, from St Nicholas Church, Kelvedon Hatch), Rt Revd Dr Laurie Green (Acting Bishop of Chelmsford), Colin Brown (Ride & Stride 2009 winner, from St Nicholas Church, Kelvedon Hatch), Claire Cottrell (Chairman, Friends of Essex Churches Trust). Not pictured: Hugh Gorton (Ride & Stride 2009 winner, from St Nicholas Church, Kelvedon Hatch).

Bishop blesses life-saving helicopter

The acting Bishop of Chelmsford did a blessing with a difference this week: he blessed the Essex Air Ambulance helicopter and Air Crew. The Right Reverend Dr Laurie Green came to Boreham Airbase, where the helicopter is based and prayed for the crew and the people whom the Air Ambulance helps.

The Bishop said: "This is a special moment. Its not every day that a Bishop has the opportunity to bless a helicopter. But it is very appropriate, because the Air Ambulance does life-saving work. Essex Air Ambulance is a charity and it relies on the generosity of people to keep the helicopter in the air.I am thrilled that over the weekend of 27-28 February supporters of The Friends of Essex Churches Trust will team up with the Essex Air Ambulance Trust in the Great Essex Feast to raise funds together.

The concept is really simple: the people of Essex are invited to host simultaneous dinner and lunch parties across the county during the weekend of 27th and 28th February 2010. However big or small the party, hosts are asked to wine and dine their guests, provide good food and entertainment of their choosing and request a donation from each person. Hosts are free to hold whatever type of dinner party they wish, whether it be a fish and chip supper or gourmet dinner. All the funds raised from the weekend will be split equally between Essex Air Ambulance and Friends of Essex Churches Trust.

If you would like to be a Great Essex Feast dinner party host simply click hereor call Wendy Byland on 0845 2417 690.

All hosts who register will receive a Great Essex Feast registration pack which includes invitations to send to guests, suggested recipes and cocktail ideas, wine tips and lots more including a free wine tasting evening on 28th January.

Photograph captions

Bishop Blessing1) From left to right: Air Crew Doctor Peter Temesvari, Air Crew Doctor Mary Morgan, Air Crew Paramedic Laurie Phillipson, Captain Dave Surtees and Right Reverend Dr Laurie Green.

 

 

 

Bishop Blessing2) Right Reverend Dr Laurie Green blesses the Essex Air Ambulance Air Crew: Air Crew Doctor Mary Morgan and Captain Dave Surtees (inside the helicopter), Air Crew Doctor Peter Temesvari and Air Crew Paramedic Laurie Phillipson (outside the helicopter).

 

 

 

 

Essex and Herts Air Ambulance TrustThe Essex Air Ambulance is a vital life-saving Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS). It costs around £250,000 each month to cover all charitable costs and aircraft operations including the provision of doctors. The service enables clinicians and life-saving support equipment to be rushed to the scene of an incident and the patient can be flown to an appropriate hospital. The Essex Air Ambulance receives no National Lottery funding and is reliant upon donations from the public and local businesses to raise funds in order to keep the Air Ambulance flying.

Friends of Essex Churches is a non-denominational charity and raises money for the repair and restoration of Christian churches and chapels in Essex and East London. Like Essex Air Ambulance, the charity is totally reliant on the generosity of the Essex public.

The Great Essex Feast

St Peter's with helicopter over headFECT has joined forces with the Essex Air Ambulance for an exciting fund-raising event. We are asking people across the county to hold dinner or lunch parties on the weekend of 27-28 February 2010 in aid of both charities. As a host you can ask as many, or as few, guests as you like and make the meal as formal or informal as you wish. What we doask is that each of your friends gives a donation. To add to the fun there will be an on-line auction which will enable guests to bid for some fantastic prizes.

If you would like to host a party with a difference, please click here for more details and information about how to register.

The Great Essex Feast

 

 

2009 Ride and stride

Hundreds of churches in Essex and East London will be taking partin the 2009 Friends of Essex Churches Trust sponsored Ride & Stride this Saturday, 12 September - when cyclists and walkers will travel from church to church by bike or on foot to raise funds to repair and restore churches and chapels.

This year's Ride & Stride was officially launched today, Monday 7 September, by Essex sporting ambassador, Russell Hampton. A top cyclist, Russell has been recognised by Essex County Council as having the potential to compete in the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games.
The launch took place at St Thomas Church in Brentwood. St Thomas raised £2,400 in the 2008 Ride & Stride. This was the best church contribution. The Bishop of Brentwood, Rt Revd Thomas McMahon, presented a trophy to Roland Platt from St Thomas at the launch to mark the achievement.

Ride and Stride 2009 launch
Front row, left to right - Joyce Priest, Roland Platt (both of St Thomas Church, Brentwood), Rt Revd Thomas McMahon - Bishop of Brentwood, Dr Ian Jorysz - Rural Dean of Brentwood Second row - Singers from the Brentwood choir quartet, Song Cycle, who will sing a motet in every church they visit

 

 

Contact:
For more information contact Mrs Fiona Nelmes, Ride & Stride Organiser
Tel 01245 380365
Email fionanelmes@lineone.net

 

Ride & Stride 2008

Ride & Stride raised £106,409in last year's event. Please click here to view the 2008 results.

2008 photographs.To view the image slide show please click on one of the photographs below.

2008 Ride & Stride images

New Chairman elected

Mrs Claire Cottrell DL, from Birch near Colchester, was elected chairman of the Friends of Essex Churches Trust at the Annual General Meeting on May 14. She succeeded Mrs Julia Abel Smith DL.Claire Cottrell has said: "My grandmother, Mrs Charles Round, was the founder member of The Friends of Essex Churches Trust in 1951. You can imagine how much pleasure it gives me to be chairman by following in her footsteps."

The AGM heard that the Trust gave nearly £200,000in grants to 24 projects for the repair and restoration of churches and chapels in 2008.

The AGMwas held at St Mary's Church in Bocking. The Dean of Bocking, the Very Revd Canon Philip Need,showed members the newest stained glass in St Marys which had been installed on the previous day. This, he said, is the latest chapter in the history of the church whichbegan when land was given for a church to be built in 995 AD. Bocking has the distinction of being the oldest of just six 'peculiar' parishes in England -called 'peculiar' because it came directly under the jurisdiction of the Archbishops of Canterbury.

Julia Abel Smith DL, Very Revd Canon Philip Need and Claire Cottrell DL.
(Left to right) Julia Abel Smith DL, Very Revd Canon Philip Need and Claire Cottrell DL.

To view the report (pdf format) by Julia Abel Smith to the AGM please click here.

To view the talk content (pdf format) given by the Very Revd Canon Philip Need please click here.

Promotional Posters

Promotional PosterTo promote the aims of FOECT please download our promotional poster. The poster is available in both A4 and A3 sizes. To download the posters, which are in PDF format, please click on one of the links below:

Download A4 poster
Download A3 poster

Once downloaded the posters can be printer on your desk top printer and saved on your computer..