A TEAM of walkers from Thornbury are set to join hundreds across Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire tomorrow in a fundraiser visiting some of the region’s 600 churches.

The annual Ride+Stride event is the main fundraiser for the Gloucestershire History Churches Trust, which this year hopes to raise a record breaking amount.

The aim is to surpass last year’s amount of £50,000, which saw 366 participants, ranging from three-to-80-years-old visit more than 175 open churches, chapels and meeting houses.

The money raised is split between participants’ nominated churches and the Trust, which awards money in grants to Christian churches in need.

Rev Tom Keates, associate priest at St Mary’s Church in Thornbury is being joined by 10 other walkers from the congregations at St Mary and St Paul in Thornbury, St Arilda in Oldbury and St Mary, Shepperdine, as well as Rev Keates’ U3A walking group.

Starting in Shepperdine at 10am, the group will follow the Severn through to Oldbury before crossing the fields to Thornbury.

“We’re delighted to have raised almost £700 already,” said Rev Keates. “I’m grateful both to the contributors and those walking with me – let’s hope it’s a bit drier than last year!”

Anyone can take part in Ride+Stride, whether on foot, by bike, horse or even by car for those that are less mobile.

Supporters can visit one church or 100 - and there are prizes for the highest fundraisers.

“We’ve got more churches than ever taking part and listed on our event map,” says county organiser Glenn Duff.

“This is a great opportunity to enjoy a day out exploring some of the county’s most interesting buildings.”

To sponsor the Thornbury team, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thomas-keates