National Churches Trust

War veteran rides mobility scooter to save historic churches

Sun 15 Sep 2019
By Cara Bentley

A 98 year old has joined people cycling and walking between churches to raise money for historic church buildings.

Colonel Michael Elcomb served in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, serving in the Second World War in Malta, Sicily, Germany and North Africa, where he was wounded.

On Saturday, he decided to support his local church St Mary's, a Church of England parish in Codford in Wiltshire, by joining in with a sponsored cycle and walk on his mobility scooter. The church has been there 750 years and requires repairs every now and again, usually paid for by locals.  

Colonel Michael Elcomb said: "Churches are such important historic buildings and do so much to keep communities together.


"That’s why we must keep them in good repair. Good luck to the many people around the country who will be Riding and Striding and raising funds to keep England’s churches in shipshape condition."

'Ride+Stride for Churches' is a sponsored event in which people walk or cycle between churches. The money raised helps fund repairs and the installation of modern facilities at historic churches, chapels and meeting houses.

Last year the event raised over £1.3 million.

St Mary's Codford, that seats 120 people, added a digital organ a few years ago and the congregation, described on its website as "a pretty straightforward and ‘conservative’ lot", try to keep up to date with modern styles of worship whilst maintaining some tradition. 

Before Col. Elcomb even started he had raised £1000.  

Last year over 350 people of all ages joined in and raised £62,000 in the Wiltshire event.



Several others took part in the nationwide event run by the National Churches Trust, with cyclists and horse riders trying to visit as many churches as possible. 


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