How to be an Area Organiser for the Bike ’n Hike

The annual Bike ‘n Hike – always on the second Saturday of September - is the most important fundraiser for BHHCT. Half the sponsorship money raised, together with any gift aid, is held by the Trust to give grants for help with repairs to the fabric of churches and the other half is returned to the church nominated by the cyclist/walker.

The Bike ‘n Hike is organised as a pyramid, with a Chairman, Treasurer and Documents Manager at Trust level, then over 20 Area Organisers and over 600 Church Organisers.

Each Area Organiser has a territory corresponding usually to a Church of England deanery and with around 25 churches and chapels in it. The Trust is an independent, non-denominational charity and the Bike ‘n Hike is a real
ecumenical event – Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Baptist, Congregational, United Reformed, Quaker, Salvation Army, some Free Churches.

The essential task of an Area Organiser is to gather as many churches and chapels into the Bike ‘n Hike as they can and then to keep their Church Organisers keen and well-briefed. It is they, not the Area Organiser, who will be getting in the riders and walkers. Developing a relationship with your Church Organisers, and preferably meeting them sometimes, is a key part of the role.

The Area Organiser’s work is not constant through the year but has three fairly intense phases.

The year starts at the end of March with the Planning Meeting when all Area Organisers come together to consider any changes or improvements which need to be made for the forthcoming event and to agree the timetable for the year.
By the end of April, Area Organisers should have ‘phoned/emailed each of their Church Organisers to ensure that their church or chapel is going to at least be open for the Bike 'n Hike, so that they can be on the List of Participating Churches. It is also an opportunity to let them know the final total raised in the previous year and to thank
them again for their help. Do try also to engage with any church/chapel/meeting house in your area which does not currently take part in the Bike ‘n Hike. The Document Manager needs confirmation of the list of churches for your area by 1st May.

Documents are printed in May/June and a box delivered to each Area Organiser’s home. These should be made into packs for each of your churches and chapels and delivered or posted by the middle of July. This allows two months for Church Organisers to make arrangements for their church to be open and persuade cyclists and walkers to take part.

We have a second, informal meeting in June at St. Giles’ Church Hall in Codicote, a chance for any issues to be discussed over a cup of tea/coffee. During July and early August, please do try and get something into your local press, perhaps featuring a story from one of your local churches from the previous year. Encourage posters to be put up in the street, not just in church.

From mid-August onwards, remind Church Organisers subtly about what needs to happen. This is where email is useful. We have known Church Organisers to forget on the day – so an email a couple of days beforehand wishing them well for the event could be very helpful! After the event, there is a two-month wait until Area Organisers come together for the Results Tea Party in mid-November. We discuss how the day went and our Treasurer gives us the preliminary results for our area and overall. We continue to receive monies, sometimes after Christmas, and the final total is not declared until the end of the Trust financial year in March. After our business meeting, we relax for
a while over afternoon tea.

We do not meet again until the Planning Meeting the following year.

Please note that, under Data Protection regulations, you must not use your contact
details for Church Organisers for any purpose other than the Bike ‘n Hike unless you
have their express permission in writing/email