WINCHESTER residents are gearing up for a challenge to raise vital funds for the county’s churches.

Run by Hampshire and the Islands Historic Churches Trust, the annual Ride and Stride event raised over £53,000 last year for essential church repairs, renovation and restoration.

It challenges people to a sponsored walk, run, cycle or drive around their local area, visiting as many churches as possible in a day.

This year over 100 churches will take part on September 13, with 34 in Winchester and the surrounding villages, 23 in Alresford and around, 19 in Bishop’s Waltham and around, and eight in Eastleigh and Southampton involved.

Half the money raised goes to the HIHCT, and the other half to a church of the participant’s choice.

Winchester Cathedral received £2,716 from last year’s efforts – the most of any in Hampshire.

For a sponsorship form, and to find out which churches are taking part, go to