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Redlingfield residents to cycle from Suffolk to Buckingham Palace to mark Queen’s Platinum Jubilee



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Five Redlingfield residents are preparing to cycle more than 100 miles from Suffolk to Buckingham Palace to raise money to save the village’s medieval Church.

To mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this year, the Rev Richard Court, Alison and Adrian Smith, Andrew Hemmings, and Heather Jones will cycle all the way from Suffolk to the capital.

The group will take along with them a scroll congratulating the Queen on reaching the milestone, on behalf of the people of Redlingfield, which will be handed to Her Majesty’s representatives at the palace.

Revd Eleonor Goodison, Adrian Smith, Alison Smith, Andrew Hemmings, Heather Jones and Revd Richard Court stood outside Redlingfield Church of St Andrew. Picture: Janet Norman-Philips
Revd Eleonor Goodison, Adrian Smith, Alison Smith, Andrew Hemmings, Heather Jones and Revd Richard Court stood outside Redlingfield Church of St Andrew. Picture: Janet Norman-Philips

They will be raising money to save the Church of St Andrew, which currently finds itself on the Heritage At Risk Register, and is in desperate need of repairs.

For the last few months, the five have been cycling regularly to build up their speed and stamina, said Mrs Smith, who works as a health inspector for the NHS.

The 41-year-old said: “It’s been really difficult. I’ve been getting up a couple of hours earlier each day to try and cram my training in and it’s taken ages for me to get fit enough to not be wheezing like a steam train when I get to the top of a hill.

“What was just an idea has actually started to happen and I am so grateful for the support this little community has provided me with to make this fundraising possible.”

The challenge will take place over two days, stopping through Sproughton, Colchester and Tiptree before arriving in Chelmsford, where they will stay the night.

The following day, they will finish their trip towards the palace, where they hope to arrive by 2pm that day. Mrs Smith’s parents, Alan and Sandra Hemmings, will be following along in a support car to deal with any problems that arise.

Redlingfield’s Church of St Andrew is Grade II listed, Anglo Saxon in origin and currently on the Heritage At Risk Register because water is penetrating through the mediaeval floor and walls, damaging the fabric of the building.

In the past, the external walls were repaired and repointed with concrete, which has prevented the building “breathing” and trapped the damp. All of this will need to be removed and replaced with lime mortar.

Redlingfield does not have a village hall or meeting place, meaning that people have to hire halls in other villages.

Through their fundraising efforts, the group hope to update the Church with a kitchen, toilets, running water and eco-friendly lighting and heating so that, as well as being the parish Church, it can be used by the whole community for meetings, events and village activities.

Redlingfield parish clerk Janet Norman-Philips said: “Redlingfield is an unusual village as we don’t charge a local council tax. Instead, everyone gets involved in fundraising activities, which is a lot more fun that getting a bill through the post.

“It means people can give what they can afford and, with the way things are at the moment, the last thing people need is another bill.

“The Pedal to the Palace cycle ride is just such a brilliant idea – hopefully, it will catch people’s imagination and do well.”