Bishop Robert and the Revd Ian Spencer rowing along the river

Holland House, our local Christian house of hospitality, is a treasure and we are privileged that it's in the Diocese of Worcester. And it’s also well-placed as a resource for our neighbouring dioceses, for churches of all traditions and for people of other faiths and none.

No retreat and conference centre runs on air and we have sadly witnessed many close during the last generation. Holland House's valuable old building and its lovely grounds need constant upkeep and a continual process of improvements is always under way. All this comes down to the need for financial support.

Rowing to the CathedralThe Friends of Holland House, of which I’ve had the privilege of being Chair for two years, contributes significantly to the additional needs of the House. I let it slip to Ian Spencer, the Warden, that I’d been my college’s Captain of Boats for a year when I was a student. That resulted in my tidying up the House’s rowing boat, ‘Maria’, and our first sponsored row down the Avon from Cropthorne to Tewkesbury in 2017. It was a lovely September day, the sun shining on a gently-flowing river. Last year, diary commitments delayed the row until mid-October and it was a showery day on the Severn from Bewdley to Worcester, rowing into a nasty chill wind - much less fun than the year before!

This year, 1st August will be a lovely day and all are welcome to the launch at Stratford upon Avon Riverside at 08.30am, and arrival at Cropthorne at about 17.00, where there will be a party with live music, to which all are invited: see the poster for details. If anyone would like to join a support-team, please let Ian know at

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Bishop Robert Paterson

Holland House