(October 1995) Historic Churches Sponsored Ride

The ninth of September dawned sunny and bright. After much planning of routes to gain the most churches and avoiding most main roads, and including quick routes home in the case of bad weather or exhaustion, we set off. A cloudless day as we sped down our first big hill and pushed up the other side. We bagged our first four churches without problems (Great Rollright had a series of photos showing works carried out with financial help from the Historic Churches Trust), but we sped straight past Over Horton chapel. We were directed back to find a little chapel with lovely flowers.

After finding the four churches in Chippy we headed for Churchill. A barbecue was in full swing at All Saints church, but we opted for a sun-warmed tomb at the much older and quieter Old Church to eat our sandwiches. After calling at Kingham we set out to discover St Peter’s at Cornwall. Leaving our bikes a quarter of a mile distant we trekked over stiles to the little church which holds fortnightly services. I can’t imagine a very large congregation unless the Lord of the Manor orders all subjects to attend.

After calling at Salford we headed cross-country up a steep bridleway towards Long Compton. If anyone would like to hear the joke about St Peter, Jesus, Joseph and Pinocchio I’m sure the gentleman at Long Compton Congregational will be happy to tell you. This building also boasted a tiered balcony ideal for bombing worshippers on the lower deck. After calling at Whichford and Sibford we ended a very enjoyable day.

Well done to Rhiannon and Kayleigh who totalled twenty-one churches. Thanks to everyone who manned the churches throughout the day. It is much nicer to see someone taking the trouble to greet you and very often offer you a range of refreshments. It is a great way to spend the day as well as finding lovely little churches, chapels and meeting houses you would never bother to seek out otherwise.