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Three men rowing a boat for Holland House

Published: 10th September 2020

On Friday 18th September three men will embark on a sponsored row from Stratford-upon-Avon to Cropthorne to raise much-needed funds for the Diocesan Retreat House, Holland House.

This year, Martin Gorick, Bishop of Dudley, will join Robert Patterson, Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Worcester, and the Rev’d Ian Spencer, Warden of Holland House, to complete the journey, which will cover 24 miles of the River Avon and 12 locks. The row will take approximately 7 hours, with the craft and crew expected to arrive in Cropthorne at around 4pm.

This is the fourth sponsored row that Bishop Robert and Ian have completed for the Retreat House, taking the same journey from Stratford-upon-Avon to Cropthorne last year, after rowing from Cropthorne to Tewkesbury in 2017 and Bewdley to Worcester in 2018.

Before the row-boat, Maria, was acquired and renovated by Holland House in 2017, it was originally designed to carry its passengers just a few hundred feet up and down from the beauty spot, Stratford. At 15 feet long, the rowers will need to pull the craft 8,448 times her length in order to complete the much longer distance they have planned.

Ian Spencer, said, “An old blue rowing boat, three clergymen and miles of water – what could possibly go wrong! I read Three Men in a Boat once – we don’t have a dog, but we do have three dog-collars which is more than enough. If you see the three men in a blue boat, do give us a cheer.”

Holland House was gifted to the Diocese of Worcester in 1946 to be used as a place of Christian hospitality and welcome for all after the horrors of World War 2. Since then, it has supported countless individuals and groups such as Barnardos, Alcoholics Anonymous, and Worcester & Birmingham Carers. The House also works with Worcester Interfaith Forum which promotes respect and understanding between people of different religions.

However, this year has been difficult, with the House continuing much of its ministry online and only reopening to guests in August in a very limited way. Relying solely on donations from guests and visitors, sadly after 70 years of offering a loving welcome and place of sanctuary the House is in need of support, something the sponsored row seeks to encourage.  

To sponsor the row and to support Holland House, please click the link. Find out more about Holland House and its work on their website.

Page last updated: Thursday 10th September 2020 8:47 AM

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