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                                                                                                23rd May 2016



Trustees, Deanery Representatives and Parish representatives from the Dorset Historic Churches Trust (DHCT) recently gathered at Sherborne Abbey for an annual celebration of fundraising. Each year, DHCT recognises the efforts of one of the hundreds of Dorset parishes which participate in the Trust’s Ride+Stride fundraising event, which takes place every September.


Participants are sponsored to cycle, walk or ride on horseback to as many churches as possible between 10am and 6pm. Every year since 1999 the Morshead Trophy, named after DHCT founder, Sir Owen Morshead, is presented to the parish that has, in the opinion of the Trustees, achieved the most impressive results.


This year the prestigious trophy was presented to Dr Jo Higgs representing the parishes within Sherborne who between them raised a fantastic £2,200. The High Sheriff of Dorset, Sir Philip Williams Bt, also a Vice-President of the Trust, presented the oak shield to Dr Jo Higgs, the Parish Organiser and rider, congratulating her for her amazing determination and fund-raising skills.


Welcoming over 50 guests from participating churches across Dorset, Dr Jo Higgs expressed her gratitude to DHCT for its support in fund-raising which will help many churches, large and small, throughout Dorset.


Simon Pomeroy, Chairman of DHCT, congratulated the parishes of Sherborne for their contribution to the record £84,000 amassed in a single day of fund-raising.


He added that this annual celebration provides the perfect opportunity to say thank you to everyone who works so hard to conserve the wonderful heritage of Dorset’s church for future generations. “Last year, the event raised £84,000, a record total. The Trust intends to award a further £100,000 in grants to Dorset’s churches in 2016 and that just would not be possible without the hundreds of riders and striders, and the thousands of sponsors backing them. Sherborne’s parishes are worthy winners and we look forward to this year’s Ride and Stride on Saturday 10th September!”


Ride+Stride is DHCT’s main source of income. The event involves some 200 parish and church communities across the county. The £84,000 raised in 2015 exceeded the 2014 total by £3,000. 50% of the funds raised are returned to parishes nominated by the participants.


This year’s Ride+Stride event takes place on Saturday 10th September. For more information, visit

 TrophyPICTURE CAPTION (L-R): Dr Jo Higgs receives the Morshead trophy from High Sheriff Sir Philip Williams.


At their meeting on 27 June, the Trustees confirmed grant aid to 8 churches totalling £44,800 with an extra £10,000 in provisional grants from the National Churches Trust to two of the churches listed below. A further round of grant applications will be considered in October. The Trust aims to award £100,000 in grants each year.      

Milborne St Andrew.      


For repairs to roof            

£7,500 + NCT £5,000

Milton Abbey

For repairs to the roof and vaulting                


St Dunstan, Poole

For urgent electrical work  


St Bartholomew, Sutton Waldron

For general repairs


St Laurence, Upwey

For kitchenette and lavatory facilities


St John’s, Weymouth

For repairs to floor and tower

£5,000 + NCT £5,000

Grant aid additional to previous award in lieu of NCT award


St Andrew, Kinson

For general repairs


St John the Evangelist, Tolpuddle

For repairs to roof