Contact & About

On this page:

Contact and How to Find Us

Who Are We?

Get Involved

Contact: The House of Prayer is based at Greenholme, a 6.5-acre smallholding in Bewcastle on the English Borders, the heart of reiving country, 14 miles NE of Carlisle. You can find us at CA6 6PW, NGR NY544747 Open Space Web-Map builder Code

To get in touch with or find out further information please contact:

info (at)

or write:

  • Revd Dr Robert Brown
  • Greenholme
  • Bewcastle
  • Carlisle
  • CA6 6PW
  • Tel: 016977 48438

  • Who Are We?:

    Our number is ill-defined, comprising many parishioners, some more involved than others, as well as those who come and spend time with us. The principal instigators, however, are

    Reverend Dr Robert Brown is married to Adele. They have 3 children. He has a joint honours BSc in Geology and Chemistry from Kings College London, an MSc in Engineering Hydrology from Imperial College London, a BA in Theology from London Bible College (Brunel University) and a PhD in Theology from Durham University. He is a Chartered Environmentalist and Chartered Water and Environment Manager. He still works part time as a consultant hydrologist, including voluntarily exploring the micro-hydro potential of the local catchments for Sustainable Brampton, his local Transition Town. He did his ministerial training at Cranmer Hall, University of Durham and was ordained in Durham Cathedral as deacon in 2003 and as priest in 2004. He spent 5 years as a full-time parish priest in Upper Weardale, Durham Diocese. In 2008 he moved to Carlisle Diocese to experiment with setting up a rural minster. The diocese is extremely short of money and was unable to fund such an uncertain venture, so the project had to become self-funded. At present it includes pigs, hens, a horse, fish, and bees kept in home-made top-bar hives. Rob also plays the whistle, guitar and bodhran.

    He can be contacted at Rob (at)

    Reverend Philip Greenhalgh is married to Valerie and is the rector for the benefice of Bewcastle, Stapleton, and Kirklinton with Hethersgill parishes, Carlisle diocese. He trained at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford and was ordained as deacon in 1979 and as priest in 1980 in Chelmsford Cathedral. He holds the MA in Church History from the University of Durham. He has previously served in numerous parishes around the country, including Clacton (Chelmsford diocese), Stalmine (Blackburn diocese), Alston (Newcastle diocese), Chumleigh, Chawleigh, Wembworthy (Exeter diocese), Gilsland, Millom (Carlisle diocese), and Upper Weardale (Durham diocese). He has also worked for the Leprosy Mission and the Church of England Children's Society. He has an MA in theology from Durham University. Among his many areas of interest and expertise are natural history, especially birds and bryophytes, basket weaving, church history, poetry and music (classical and folk). Among other instruments he plays fiddle, guitar, English concertina, mouth organ and sings. He has been actively considering minster-based ministry for over 20 years.

    Philip can be contacted at Philip (at)

    Philip and Rob at Maddy Prior's 'Stepping Stones' Festival, 2013

    Philip and Rob at Maddy Prior's 'Stepping Stones' Festival, 2013


    Get Involved:

    You can help us by...

    • Sharing your ideas. Contribute something to the website.
    • Getting in touch. Let us know what you think. What interests you about the vision?
    • Giving:
    • Time - there's still lots of research of various sorts required
    • Skills - we need legal advice on trusts etc. and welcome a range of skills. Also help with planning (permissions), building (lightly), growing (food), energy (generating).
    • Money - we are trying to raise funds to build a straw-bale animal barn. Can you help?
    • Willing hearts and hands - when the time comes there'll be lots for everyone to do
    • Receiving. A praying community of which to be a part. Good friends. A space to be and to be a blessing

    Get in touch - email us at info (at)

    If you have donated, thank you very, very much. PLEASE get in touch so we can keep you informed of any developments. But only if you want!

    In the event that we do not raise sufficient funds and have to close the account, all remaining proceeds will be split between various Christian registered charities.

    3 responses to Contact & About

    1. Chris Benson

      Dear Phillip and Rob, I have just come across your House of Prayer project via the Permacutlure magazine and have read through the web site, all very exciting! I am a practicing Christian from Lancaster worshiping at St Thomas’s, a VERY lively member of the Church of England. I am also extremely interested in empowering people to grow their own food, a basic essential for eliminating poverty, especially the young people with disabilities I presently work with. My Christian motivation for growing and sowing are that they are center to Jesus’s teaching in parables of growing food and His sharing meals with others. Your idea of how permaculture and Christian principles interlocked are exciting and I share the same vision. My wife and I have just purchased a 7 acre farm in Limousine France and we intend to use those principles in growing our food, raising small livestock and sharing the Farmhouse with people who have disabilities and others. I would be interested in visiting you before we go to see how you work and share some thoughts and ideas. My wife Rachel is not a practicing Christian ( working on that in prayer) but is committed to sharing and organic principles. I will pray for your project and share information about you with others at Church. Many blessings to you all in His name. Chris Benson

      • Rob


        Thanks for getting in touch. What you are trying to do sounds interesting. Do you have good contacts in France already or is this a new move?

        You would be most welcome to come up for a visit – Lancaster is less than 2 hours from us. Let us know when you’re thinking of coming and we’ll confirm dates. Use the email address above.

        Best wishes


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    So what do you think?