Broadcaster helps launch appeal

WRITER and broadcaster Libby Purves has launched an annual sponsored bike ride to help raise money for Suffolk's historic churches.Ms Purves, who lives in the east of the county with television presenter husband Paul Heiney, was at the 650-year-old thatched church at Westleton, near Framlingham.

WRITER and broadcaster Libby Purves has launched an annual sponsored bike ride to help raise money for Suffolk's historic churches.

Ms Purves, who lives in the east of the county with television presenter husband Paul Heiney, was at the 650-year-old thatched church at Westleton, near Framlingham.

She was launching the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust's 26th Annual Sponsored Bike Ride, which takes place on Saturday September 8, and will see participants visiting churches across the county on their bikes.

Ms Purves, who presented Midweek on Radio 4 for more than 20 years, is Joint Patron of Key Change at Westleton church - a major refurbishment scheme that will increase its capacity to host a range of events including chamber and orchestral concerts.

She said: “As a family we've taken part in the ride and I can't think of a pleasanter way to raise money to help maintain Suffolk's architectural heritage, of which the county's churches and chapels are a vital part.”

Since it began in 1982 the event has raised more than £3m and grants have been handed out to more than 60 of Suffolk's historic churches.

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Organiser Ray Bedwell said: “Exercise, good fellowship and money raised - what more could you want?

“The money is split between the host churches and the trust to give out in grants. Some cyclists and people staffing churches have done it every year since the bike ride began.”

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