High Sheriffs take to the saddle for church fundraiser

High Sheriff of Hertfordshire, Jonathan Trower (left) with supporter Nicholas Buxton, preparing for the Bike n Hike ride for the Beds and Herts Historic Churches Trust (BHHCT).

High Sheriff of Hertfordshire, Jonathan Trower (left) with supporter Nicholas Buxton, preparing for the Bike n Hike ride for the Beds and Herts Historic Churches Trust (BHHCT).

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Two high sheriffs are to meet up at their county borders - all in a good cause.

The High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, the Countess of Erroll, will be meeting Jonathan Trower, the Hertfordshire High Sheriff, at the two counties’ border near Ashwell and Eyeworth on Saturday, September 12.

The two law officers will be riding bicycles, on behalf of the Beds and Herts Historic Churches Trust (BHHCT), for the annual Bike ‘n’ Hike fundraiser.

The two sheriffs have nominated the BHHCT as charities to support this year, acknowledging the importance to towns and villages throughout their counties of a wonderful heritage of outstanding church buildings and the need to keep them in good shape.

The Bike ‘n Hike has been organised for more than 20 years by the trust, and trustee in charge is Madeline Russell, who welcomed the involvement of the High Sheriffs.

She said: “I am delighted they are taking part. They will be riding alongside hundreds of sponsored riders and walkers visiting more than 600 churches and chapels which are throwing their doors open to visitors. Many churches will be offering refreshment and a chance for a break.

“It is all great fun but there is a serious side. Last year we raised nearly £110,000 in a day which was marvellous. Half of the money is passed back to churches nominated by participants and the other half, including gift aid, is retained by the trust to give out as grants to churches or chapels of many denominations struggling to fund expensive repairs.

“The chances are that wherever you are in either county, you will be near to a church which has benefited from the help we have been able to offer.”

The role of High Sheriff is the oldest secular office in England, as with many of our churches, its origin goes back to Saxon times. High Sheriffs support the judiciary, police and public services as well as being involved with other aspects of life in the wider community.

Anyone can join in the Bike ‘n Hike. Visit www.bedshertshct.org.uk