...keeping Somerset's churches & chapels alive

The number of participating churches is growing rapidly. 143 churches have now signed up to take part in Ride+Stride 2019. The current list is now available to download.

Bishops Peter and Ruth officially launch our 2019 Ride+Stride at The Bishop's Palace in Wells.

Clergy on Penny Farthings launch 2019 Ride+Stride

Ride+Stride for Churches: Somerset
Start Date/Time:
14 September 2019
Recurring Event:
One time event

Please support our biggest annual fundraiser. Raise money for the Trust and help us continue giving grants to churches, chapels and meeting houses in Somerset, and also support your own church, chapel or charity. Make this our biggest event to date.

  • Visit as few, or as many, of Somerset’s many wonderful places of worship as you like.

  • Take part on Saturday 14th September, or on any day from 7th to 22nd September.

  • Make up your own route, or download a walk or cycle route from our website.

  • Cycle, walk, drive a car or mobility scooter, or ride a horse*, with friends and family.

  • Not keen on cycling or walking, Make September 14th an Open Day or Activity Day.

    Hold a coffee morning, cream tea, treasure hunt, quiz evening or concert.

  • Can you help promote R+S to churches in your local area? Please call Michael Auton.

  • Nominate a church, chapel, or charity to receive 50% of the money you raise through

    sponsorship, or donate it all to the Trust.

  • Please help theTrust to continue giving grants to churches, chapels and meeting houses

    in Somerset.

    *If you are on horseback you must have your own insurance and if you are driving you must check with your motor insurer that you are covered for this event.

    Full details, and all the forms you need, will be on our website:

    Further information about Ride+Stride from: Michael Auton, tel: 07862 253514, email: He is waiting to hear from you!!

Our Next Event is on Saturday 14th September.

All the information you need is on our Ride+Stride page.


Click here to see the full programme for 2019.

Another Successful Annual Meeting

The Church Rooms at Stogursey were full to capacity as members enjoyed another action packed Annual Meeting on Saturday 27th April. Business reports were quickly concluded to allow time for the presentation of Awards for the Ride+Stride event held on 8th September 2018. 

Philip Skelhorn collected the award on behalf of Holy Trinity Sutton Montis for the church that raised the most money and Michael Auton (Ride+Stride Coordinator) collected the award on behalf of The Revd Jonathan Morris who was the individual raising the most in sponsorship.
A special award was given by our Chairman, Axel Palmer to Alasdair Green (aged four)  who was the youngest cyclist to take part, while Granny looks on approvingly. It was then over to Bob Croft, trustee and Somerset County Archaeologist to tell us about the history of Stoke Courcy now known as Stogursey.
This was followed by a visit to St Andrew's Church and then onto Fairfield House, home of Elizabeth, Lady Gass, DCVO a former Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset and one of our Patrons.
 Lady Gass gave us a conducted tour of her home followed by Bob Croft giving a brief overview of the archaeological investigations that have been undertaken on the site. The only complaint was that there was just so much of interest there was not enough time to take it all in.

Links Page

The Somerset Historic Environment Record is part of the much larger South West Heritage Trust website. Our Links Page has links to this website and over twenty other organisations concerned with religious and historic buildings.


Click here for the following: Books for Sale, Annual ReportsTrustees Annual Reports and Accounts, Press Releases, Church Card Archive, Churches and Chapels Visited by DateChurches and Chapels visited by Location, Policies and Procedures

Our Patron Kevin McCloud, the presenter of Grand Designs says:

“Our churches are literally our historic and cultural touchstones – in our landscapes, built environment, family histories and our communities. They embody faith, beauty, craftsmanship and collective memory. So we should cherish them.”

Ride+Stride 2019 All Set To Go!

All of the forms you need to take part in Ride+Stride 2019 are now available. Click here
 to go straight to the forms or on the Ride+Stride button above for full details. We have joined up with Virgin Money Giving so you can create your own webpage to raise sponsorship on line. We are asking churches to open their doors to raise money by putting on activities. Click here for fundraising ideas.

If you have not yet told us that you would like to take part click here for a Registration Form. Please complete to confirm if your church will be open with refreshments, if you will have walkers and/or riders taking part or you are putting on some other event and return to Michael Auton whose contact details are on the form.

The List of Participating Churches is now available to download.


At the Annual Meeting held on 27th April Trustees agreed to match the £1,000 from Allchurches Trust towards the cost of installing a roof alarm. With metal prices on the rise theft of lead is more than likely to increase. Make the most of this one off opportunity to protect your church. Apply now before it's too late.

A Welcome from the Chairman

Welcome to our website. We are an independent, non-denominational trust raising money for the repair and improvement of churches and chapels open for Christian worship in the historic county of Somerset. The Trust, founded in 1996 under the name Friends of Somerset Churches and Chapels, exists to encourage interest and the involvement of all members of the community in the magnificent heritage of our fine religious buildings. Already, since its founding, the Trust has made grants of almost £700,000 to over 300 churches and chapels in Somerset. I hope to meet you at one of our church crawls. If you need any information about our activities or how to apply for a grant do please get in touch. All the information you need is on our contacts page.
 Dr Axel Palmer Chairman

Grant Applications and Closing Date

We welcome applications from churches and chapels of all denominations for grants towards repairs and improvements to enable wider community use subject to our grant terms and conditions. Applicants who are not already members of the trust must become members for at least three years in order for a grant to be paid. Grant applications must normally be received one calendar month before the date of the trustees meeting at which the application will be considered. The next closing date will be 13th September 2019 for the October 2019 trustees meeting.   Click here for more information on Grant Applications.

See Where We've Been on our Church Crawls!

A complete list is now available of every church and chapel we have ever visited since the trust was formed in 1996. You can search by the date of the first visit or alphabetically. Click on the links below to go straight to the lists. If there is somewhere we have missed where you would like to visit then do let us know.

Churches and Chapels visited by date of first visit.
Alphabetical list of churches and chapels visited.

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