History of Haslemere Ventures

The series of Haslemere Ventures began in 1962 when the Rev. Kenneth Habershon led the first teenager holiday at St. Michael’s School Limpsfield in Surrey. That year there were just 54 people in total – members and leaders together. Since then over the years there have been many hundreds – indeed thousands – of young people who have attended. For 30 years the Ventures were at St. Michael’s, Limpsfield: when the school had to close, they were held at Mayfield, then Wadhurst/Bedgebury, New Hall (Chelmsford), and now at The Royal School, Haslemere, Surrey. In 1977, Kenneth married Mary who joined him in the leadership.

In 2002, after 40 years of Venture work, Kenneth retired and the Ventures continued under a leadership trio: Christine Penfold of St. George’s, Worthing, the Rev. Paul Peterson, Associate Vicar of Christ Church, Downend, Bristol and the Rev. Sami Watts of Emmanuel, Northwood. Some years ago there were 4 Ventures in the summer school holidays, 2 at Easter and 2 at the New Year. Now there are 4 in the summer, 1 at Easter, 2 in October and 1 at New Year.

In 2014 Christine Penfold retired from leading the camps and Paul Peterson took up the role of Haslemere Principal in 2015. The Limpsfield Trust also employ a Recruitment Assistant to head up youth group visits in between camps and for making new relationships around the country.  Why not have them come and visit your church or youth group?

The Haslemere Ventures are run under the auspices of CPAS. CPAS is a Church of England charity, and runs a variety of many different holidays for young people from groups in Churches around the UK and for friends from other Churches and local schools. The work of the Haslemere Ventures is also supported by the Limpsfield Trust, a charitable Trust whose Trustees are people who have attended and benefitted from the Ventures in past years.

Haslemere Ventures aim to give a great holiday to teenagers with a big variety of activities in a Christian context. Holding these Ventures in each of the school holidays during the year enables young people to come regularly and gives opportunities to develop friendships and relationships and to consider together issues of Christian truth and discipleship. Of these who come to the Ventures, some are not yet Christians, other come to faith and deepen their Christian Knowledge and commitment; others again are equipped for Christian leadership.

Many have made comments from previous years, for example a young man now holding a responsible post in the civil service: “I doubt whether the Christian talks were more important than being made to feel so loved”. Or again, “I remember telling Kenneth once that it was at Mayfield that I felt most properly myself”. A young woman teacher wrote “I was recalling to-day the wonderful New Year’s I spent at Limpsfield/Mayfield – the best of my life. There are so many of us that are so grateful for your vision and ministry”.

For further information about the work of the Limpsfield Trust visit their website here.
For further information about the work of Ventures, visit the Ventures website.


Haslemere Ventures is among 80 different Ventures. Ventures are part of the work of CPAS, a registered charity, number 1007820, registered in England, at CPAS, Unit 3, Sovereign Court 1, Sir William Lyons Road, Coventry CV4 7EZ.


The Ventures Office can be contacted for general enquiries on

T: 0300 123 0780

E: ventures@cpas.org.uk

W: ventures.org.uk