...keeping Somerset's churches & chapels alive

This is Somerset Churches Trust’s most important fund raising event. It is part of the much wider National Churches Trust annual Ride+Stride with county trusts organising events across the country. Churches and Chapels of all denominations can take part and cyclists, walkers, horse riders and even car drivers are able to join in. We do hope you will be with us on the day when nationally we raise over £1.3 million for thousands of churches and chapels across the country.

Next year's event is on 8 September 2018

All of the information on this page still relates to the event held on 9 September 2017. It may still be of interest but will be updated prior to next year's event.

This year the Bishops of Bath and Wells and Taunton have written to all Anglican churches asking them to take part and to appoint a local church coordinator.  If your church has not yet signed up you can still take part. Open your church, organize a route and join in. Let us know and we can add your church to the list of Open Churches. Get as many walkers and cyclists to take part and get as much sponsorship as you can. Groups and individuals from churches of all denominations are welcome to take part.

Ride+Stride - Open Churches on Saturday 9th September

If you are planning a route or need inspiration look no further than our List of Open Churches. Many will have refreshments available and a number have toilet facilities. The information is as complete as we can make it. However, when planning your route remember that most churches in Somerset are open even if they have not specifically told us they will be taking part. Click here for a complete list of all churches in the Diocese of Bath and Wells (Somerset).
This is a great opportunity to visit churches and chapels that you may not have been to before and to have a wonderful day out. All the forms and information you need can be downloaded below. 

Organised Routes

Why not join one of the following organised routes?

Charlcombe Church Route
East Mendip Trail
South Quantocks Heritage Trail

Other Routes

You may like to try one of these routes which have proved popular in previous years.

The Bath Walk (Some of the churches on this route will be open with refreshments)
The Ten Towers (Cheddar Valley)
South West Somerset (Starts from Ashbrittle)
South Somerset (Starts from Somerton)

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take part on another day? Yes! 
If you can’t make Saturday 9 September then you may undertake your walk or ride on any day from Saturday 2 September to Sunday 17 September. Remember though that some churches may not be open and it is unlikely that they will be stewarded
Can I raise money for another organisation? Yes!
As well as churches and chapels taking part any Registered Charity may participate and nominate their own organisation for the 50% return of sponsorship money collected.
Can I donate all of my sponsorship to Somerset Churches Trust? Yes!
Individual participants or groups are very welcome with 100% of sponsorship raised being for the benefit of Somerset Churches Trust.
Can I raise money on line? Yes!
Somerset Churches Trust has a JustGiving website. Visit the website and create your own sponsorship page.

Risk Assessment

Whilst it is not a legal or insurance requirement, if you are organising an event involving a large group of people, particularly where children are taking part, you should carry out some form of risk assessment just to ensure that your day goes off smoothly and without mishap. To make this easy we have produced a generic risk assessment covering cycling, walks, horse riding and vehicles. Click on Risk Assessment below to open the form. You do not have to follow this to the letter but use this as the basis for your own individual event and tailor it as you think reasonable commensurate with the hazards on your route.

How does it work?

Get sponsored to take part using a sponsorship form which can be downloaded from this website. Most people get sponsored by friends and relatives for a total amount. Or get sponsored using JustGiving. You can create your own webpage by following the link which will take you straight to our create a webpage. Organizations such as walking and cycle clubs are welcome to take part.

Use of Motor Vehicles

The original intention of this event was for walkers and cyclists to raise money through sponsorship. Many of our members and supporters now find it difficult to participate in this way. Cars therefore may be used but you must check with your motor insurers that you are covered for this event. You can still be sponsored or make a donation to take part

Gift Aid

In order to claim gift aid on sponsorship or any other donation the sponsor or person making the donation must be a UK income or capital gains taxpayer. They must pay an amount on income tax and/or capital gains tax in the tax year at least equal to the amount of tax that all the charities and community amateur sports clubs they donate to will reclaim on their gifts for that tax year. Other taxes such as VAT and council tax do not qualify. Somerset Churches Trust will reclaim 25p of tax on every £1 that is given.

What happens to the money raised?

If requested, half of the money raised (but not entry fees) is returned to the church, chapel or registered charity nominated by the individual participant and the other half goes to Somerset Churches Trust. If you wish the entire amount can be given to Somerset Churches Trust which then awards grants to churches applying for help with repairs. Since 1996 the Trust has given almost £700,000 to almost 300 churches.


Click, download and print off the forms and church lists you require 
Full Colour Poster
Join Us
Sponsorship Form
Registration of Visitors
Open Today Sign
Remittance Form
Risk Assessment
Ride+Stride List of Open Churches
All Churches in the Bath and Wells Diocese, Somerset

Further information


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