Colin Shearer, regional director of The Churches Conservation Trust (CCT) – the national heritage charity that cares for historic churches at risk – is embarking on a 350 mile sponsored bike ride stopping at St Bartholomew’s Church in Lower Basildon to help raise the funds needed to repair the church tower clock.
Situated near the bank of the Thames, the striking flint and brick church is home to the memorial of Jethro Tull – the agriculturist who revolutionised farming with the invention of the modern plough.
The Friends of St Bartholomew’s are now raising the funds needed to repair the tower clock so it can chime again.
The challenging cycle route – with a mile for each of CCT’s 350 churches – will take in four counties over six days.
Colin Shearer will stop at 20 churches, including three other churches that are also raising money for specific repair projects. All the money raised from the cycle ride will be split between these projects.
The energetic director will also be using his cycling challenge to help promote Church Tourism Week – a nationwide programme of innovative and surprising events taking place in churches. Curated by CCT, the week-long annual celebration of outstanding architectural heritage encourages visitors to explore church buildings – and British history – in new ways.
Colin Shearer, regional Director of The Churches Conservation Trust said: “Every couple of years I get fired up enough to go on a long distance cycle in aid of a good cause.
“This time, I wanted to cycle a distance that would really challenge me – and will hopefully prove worthy of sponsorship.
“This challenge aims to raise £3,000 to be split between four vital church projects, including St Bartholomew’s at Lower Basildon, where our Friends group are raising funds to repair the church tower clock.
“I hope you’ll come with me on this journey by following my blogs and tweets, and by sponsoring me as I travel 350 miles, visit 20 wonderful sites and meet 40 of our wonderful volunteers, all in six days.”
To donate to the cycle ride and to help raise funds to repair the roof of St John the Baptist Church in Inglesham visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/colinscycletour , call 0845 303 2760, email firstname.lastname@example.org or text BIKE07 £5 to 70070 to donate £5.
Visit www.visitchurches.org.uk/ChurchTourismWeek for the full programme of events taking place on Church Tourism Week.
Use the Twitter hashtag #ColinsCycleTour to see Colin’s progress throughout the challenge.