Bagging the Church Micro 50K Challenge!
On the way back from our Christmas stay in Mansfield we took the M1 Southbound back to Surrey with a challenge in mind, the Church Micro 50k challenge set by ‘KnightFamily1980’. The rules involved finding church micro’s to make up a total of 50,000 points.
For those that aren’t familiar with church micro’s (CM’s) I’ll explain what I mean. Each CM has its own number so for example the first one was placed at the St John the Evangelist Church in Earlswood and became ‘Church Micro 1 Earlswood‘ and so for this challenge would be worth 1 point. At the time of writing this there are now 5,024 individual CM’s in the UK, the latest one being Church Micro 5024 Thorpe Salvin in Yorkshire, and so in order to complete this challenge you have to find and log quite a few of these individual CM’s to reach the score of 50,000 points.
Before we left Mansfield we were 6 days into the challenge and had reached 23,679 points finding; CM 2551 & CM 2582 both in Weybridge on the 22nd December, CM 3622 in Calverton and CM 3706 in Woodborough on the 26th, CM 3383 in Newark on the 27th, CM 3918 in Eyam and CM 3917 in Mansfield on the 28th. With a lot of mileage already covered we were eager to find somewhere that had a good amount of CM’s so that we could try and get our points total up and we were positive that the target could be achieved if we made a stop off in Northampton.
Why Northampton? Well, Northants has a large number of CM’s placed within a few hours walking distance of each other and with most of them having high points scorings and more importantly not being too far from the M1 we decided it was worth a shot.
We cruised through Northants on a quiet Sunday afternoon (the 29th) and managed to pick up, CM 3927 Upton – St Michael, CM 3749 Northampton – Holy Sepulchre, CM 3748 Northampton – St. Giles, CM 3747 Northampton – All Saints, CM 3750 Northampton – New Testament and CM 937 Northampton – St. Peter’s. There were a few DNF’s which was a shame but overall the finds were nice and simple and didn’t take too long. Our favourite was probably St Michael’s Church in Upton which was a nice small Church just off a busy main road. The cache proved elusive for a while and it wasn’t until we were heading back to the car that we actually found it. Tricky indeed!
That concluded our day but with the DNF’s we’d only managed to get our points total up to 43,537 and were still short by a few points, so we scoured the local area for some more high numbered CM’s and noticed that Bromley had a few which hit the 4,000 mark so we loaded the details onto our phones and headed off the next day with a view to completing the challenge.
We arrived in the pouring rain after a longer than expected drive (maybe we missed a turn off somewhere who knows) and unfortunately started with a couple of DNF’s, this was worrying at first but becoming more used to factoring this in to our caching expeditions we thankfully did have some backups!
We were both absolutely drenched by this point but there was a silver lining as we’d managed to find some parking near to a corner shop which sold doughnuts! They were a nice reward for completing the challenge and reaching another new target, our Vicar status for having found a total of 100 CM’s!
By the time we returned to the car, with doughnuts in hand, the clouds had parted and the sun was out. Maybe it was a sign of our new holy status who knows but it made us both chuckle and we munched our doughnuts with huge grins on our faces, soaked but satisfied!
Thanks for setting the challenge KnightFamily1980, now we just need to come and pick up our reward!
For more information about Church Micro’s, BaSHful (who we’ve been lucky enough to meet), has created this wonderful Church Micro statistics page where you can find out a lot more about them all.