Sunday, 22 September 2019

To Old Buckenham and beyond

Peddling around the churches
On Saturday 14 September at 9am Roger Peacock set off from All Saints Church, Old Buckenham, on his bike with the target of visiting as many of Norfolk's churches as possible before 5pm. This annual charity ride for the Norfolk Churches Trust has gone on for many years but this year seemed a good time to join in as they have just arranged a substantial contribution towards the re-thatching of All Saints Church.
The weather was spectacular. Clear blue sky, hardly a puff of wind and comfortably warm temperatures made for a cyclist's dream. Norfolk is blessed with both a wealth of historic churches (650 of them) and a fabulous network of tiny country lanes to travel between them. Roger had struggled for a few days trying to plan a route and was extremely grateful when the revered newsletter/blog editor passed on his routing experience which he found invaluable (including his tip for the church with the best food!).
The variety of church buildings is breathtaking, from the ancient Norman round-towered sites such as Gissing to the brand new modernism of St Henry Morse Catholic Church in Diss, from the simple Baptist Chapels to the most ornate Angel Roofed classicism of the 15th century.
His ride took him on a loop via Eccles and Quidenham to the south and then a long stretch up to Hethel in the north before setting off back down to Diss where the churches are thankfully closer together. In the end he managed 38 visits and thanks to the very generous sponsors should have raised around £500 for the Churches Trust.
The real heroes of the day however, were the lovely volunteer tellers who waited patiently in the churches to greet intrepid visitors with a smile, a drink of squash and a custard cream. Some were there in the tiniest of backroad hamlets from 9 till 5, only receiving a handful of visits but they quietly got on with their Catherine Cooksons with no complaints.
Roger said he had a thoroughly enjoyable day and by the time he returned to Old Buckenham village he'd consumed 62 miles (and 38 custard creams).

No comments: