The Great National Steeple Chase is an epic success!

28 Jul 2019

CCT Chief Executive Peter Aiers undertook an epic challenge to visit 50 CCT churches in 50 hours on 25th – 27th July 2019. The challenge, named The Great National Steeple Chase, celebrated 50 years of the Churches Conservation Trust, as well as fundraising to fight the problem of heritage crime that affects so many historic churches.



Peter started at St George’s Church, Portland, Dorset at 9am on Thursday 25th July and travelled non-stop, with a support team. He used various means of transport, including helicopter, classic cars, a vintage routemaster bus, police speedboat, and motorbike. CCT volunteers and staff also completed various legs of the journey to get Peter to the church on time.  

He carried out various mini challenges at each church, including changing a lightbulb, taking part in a learning workshop, conservation cleaning and climbing towers. Each stop on the journey was carefully chosen to showcase the breadth and variety of CCT’s work.


The Steeple Chase crew made it to the final stop of the journey at Edlesborough, Buckinghamshire, with time to spare on Saturday morning, coming in under time at 48 ½ hours. 1022 miles were covered in the journey, which saw the team travel from Dorset, through Wiltshire, Bristol, Shropshire, Cheshire, Lancashire, Cumbria, Northumberland, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire.


CCT would like to thank our main sponsor for this challenge, E-Bound AVX, who we work with to provide roof alarms at many of our churches. E-bound donated the helicopter and provided motorbike and car transport between some of the churches.

Architects, OMI and Buttress, who have worked on a number of CCT churches offered their services to drive Peter between some of the northern churches.  

A number of legs were driven by members of The Federation of Historic Vehicle Clubs, which included a Rolls Royce, Morris Minor and Bristol cars.


Thank you to all of our volunteers who gave Peter a warm welcome at the various churches and turned out to cheer him on. We are delighted to announce that we raised over £25,000, which will go towards our fight against heritage crime. There is still time to donate if you would like to help!

Find out more about our appeal to fight heritage crime