Holmsted Leadership


Steve and Jo have been leading the work at Holmsted Manor since September 2012, but the journey to get there has taken them through lots of different settings. Before they were married, Jo was a PE teacher at a girl’s school and Steve was a bricklayer (which explains the industrial quantities of tea he consumes), and both were involved with youth work. It was their involvement in youth work that led them to train at All Nations Christian College in the mid 90’s, which became an interest in discipleship and discipling. This time at All Nations started a chain of events that led them to join Youth With A Mission, starting with a DTS in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1999. After eight years in Buenos Aires they returned to Blighty to join the team at Harpenden, before the opportunity to lead at Holmsted Manor came about. 

Steve & Jo speak Spanish and love holidays in the sun. They have three grown daughters, one married and two in University. Jo is the strategic thinker, always has a list and a plan, and is also very pastoral. Steve is less organised but loves to challenge the everyday, he’s a networker and enjoys opportunities to speak to anyone who’ll listen. Both Steve & Jo have a history of developing teams and growing leaders, they love what they do!

The Team

Lauren A (USA)

After teaching in primary schools for a few years since completing her DTS in Honolulu in 2010, Lauren has returned to join YWAM at Holmsted Manor in 2016. Lauren enjoys spending time with people which adds to the sense of family we have here and she enjoys collaborating with others.

Madison A (USA)

After first doing his DTS at Holmsted Manor back in 2011, Madison has been studying and working as a graphic designer. Returning to his YWAM roots with his wife, Madison is looking forward to getting involved in our worship as well as helping out in some of our design needs.

Erin B (USA)

A YWAM journey that started in Africa in 2003 completing her DTS in Jinja, Uganda, saw Erin arrive at Holmsted Manor in 2012. Since being in England Erin has helped Holmsted Manor in different areas, many of which involve taking people into the nations, whether through DTS or youth mission trips. Erin has lots of friends locally and is often seen heading out in her car to meet people locally, and although she’d love to go to South America one day, for now it’s Sussex – her car wouldn’t make it.

Lucy B (UK)

In 2001 Lucy completed her DTS and has been involved with YWAM ever since, living in South Africa and Uganda before returning to the UK. Since 2013 Lucy has been at Holmsted Manor, involved in lots of areas of work and life in our community. Lucy has been known to start a conversation with people before she arrives, she’s rarely at a loss for words. Part of a local community choir, Lucy loves meeting people.

Howard D (UK)

Elusive, hard to find, that’s Howard – usually because he’s mending something, somewhere around Holmsted Manor as he is our “go to” Mr. Fix-It. Since completing his DTS in Amsterdam back in 1992 Howard has lived in Hungary and Costa Rica before coming to Holmsted Manor in 2010. He’s married with two children and they live in a local village. Howard hasn’t yet achieved one of his ambitions to build a working submarine and until we dredge the ponds at the back of the Manor we don’t think he’ll start.

Jess G (UK)

After finishing her A-levels Jess completed her DTS at Holmsted in 2013 and hasn’t gone home since. She’s a creative person who loves typography and is often doodling and developing art projects or looking on Pinterest at other things to try. Despite travelling to India for her placement on DTS, Jess prefers the cosmopolitan feel of Worcester, her favourite city in the world and would take a cup of tea over a chai any day.

Quirine G (Netherlands)

After completing her DTS with us at Holmsted Manor in January 2015, Qui (as she is known), came back to join the team. She has got stuck into helping out with some the practical areas of helping Holmsted be as hospitable as it can be and does her work with a smile on her face. Qui also helps out with some youth work locally and is often singing and playing the piano.

Barbara H (Switzerland)

Coming from French speaking Switzerland to complete a DTS at Holmsted Manor in 1995, Barbara still uses her native tongue to translate YWAM content into French. When she isn’t using her linguistic ability, Barbara spends time with her four children, the school run and after school activities demand a lot of driving! The family lived in the area for years before returning to YWAM in 2014.

Phil H (UK)

Phil did his DTS as a young man here at Holmsted back in the 90’s and then left YWAM to work on a local country estate for 14 years. Returning to YWAM two years ago as a family man has been an adjustment! Phil’s love of the outdoors is seen in his care of our grounds, and his love of people is seen in his care of his family. Very down to earth, always thinking about the practicalities, Phil’s “we can do it” approach to life is just what we need.

Raph H (Germany)

In 2008 Raph left Germany, working in construction to embark on a journey with YWAM that started on DTS in Harpenden and took him to Argentina, Brazil, Switzerland, USA and Germany.

A “full of life” character, Raph makes work fun. He enjoys watching VfB Stuttgart playing football almost as much as he enjoys playing guitar and leading worship. You will soon learn that he has a German car, his favourite petrol station is in Luxembourg and he eats Maultaschen followed by pizza whenever he can.

Daniel J (USA)

Since joining YWAM in Wales in 2006, Daniel has travelled extensively throughout Europe while living on board a sailing ship, The Next Wave. After all that seafaring and living in small quarters, Daniel has appreciated the space at Holmsted Manor since arriving in 2014. Daniel’s idea of heaven is a small French village with locally sourced, fresh ingredients. He’s a foodie with an eye for detail in the kitchen.

Tamara J (USA)

When Tamara isn’t helping make things happen at Holmsted Manor, she’s making things. Her creative streak extends beyond ‘art’ to baking and growing veggies. She shares her husband’s love of coffee and all things organic and is usually reading something pretty interesting. From Portland, Oregon originally, Tamara joined YWAM in 2007 after completing her DTS in Derby, England.

Kim S (USA)

Kim studied history at University before dedicating herself to the world of crafts, patchwork and quilts. Changing locations and direction, she completed DTS at Holmsted Manor in September 2015 and has been a part of the team here since August 2016. Always with an eye on something creative, Kim is also involved in a number of activities working alongside the marginalised. With her eye for detail and planning, Kim helps make sure things happen.

Christy S (USA)

A fine artist with an interest in ceramics and design, Christy discovered YWAM at a creative DTS in Norway in 2006. She came here in 2008, then moved to another UK YWAM centre before returning with her husband, and now, as a new mum it’s quite different to the last time. Christy surprises us with some of her open mic song choices as well as her enthusiasm for the arts. She led our Holmsted team of artists in the Brighton Fringe this year and is looking forward to more artistic endeavours, especially in Brighton.

Phil S (UK)

A marine biologist and trained diver, Phil swapped the Seychelles for YWAM England in 2010. His YWAM journey started with his DTS in Harpenden, UK and then a move to Holmsted in 2013. If Phil isn’t in the accounts office, you might find him in the compost pile or his vegetable patch, or in Brighton.

Bart T (USA)

The plan to own his own restaurant franchise in the USA was changed when Bart arrived in Europe to take his Discipleship Training School on board the sailing vessel The Next Wave in September 2013. Since then, Bart has served in a number of different European locations with the boat before settling here at Holmsted Manor in February 2017. A quiet, reflective man with an interest in the nations, who doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty and with a mild obsession with hot sauce, Bart is a great part of the team.

Anja W (Switzerland)

After her DTS here at Holmsted Manor in January 2017, Anja has decided to leave Switzerland behind to bring her love of nature to West Sussex!A hard working, punctual individual who loves coffee, Anja is a great team player who loves living in community.

Simon W (UK)

Leaving the world of financial services and being an estate agent, Simon headed off to Argentina in 2008 where he completed his DTS in Mendoza. Since joining Holmsted in 2015, Simon has been involved in many of the practical areas of base life and really enjoys Friday morning’s “coffee and doughnuts” start to the day. Simon has a heart for mission.

Yanil W (Argentina)

In 2007, Yanil left her role as youth pastor in the church in Mendoza, Argentina and completed her DTS. Yanil loves working with people and brings enthusiasm to all she does. Like all Argentines she loves red meat! She is a devoted mum of two small children who are very much a part of what she does.

Martin W (Sweden)

Martin left Sweden in his car and drove to Holmsted Manor, his current most favourite place in the world where he did his DTS in January 2017. With a background in carpentry, Martin is a hard working, practical chap often to be found doing something with his hands. He splits his spare time evenly between riding his BMX and eating pancakes.

Rebecka W (Sweden)

Rebecka is from Sweden and came to England to do her DTS at Holmsted Manor in 2017. With a background in youth work and with a desire to travel the world and bunny-jump off the highest things she can find or fly in a hot air balloon, her approach to life is to live it to the full.

"Holmsted Manor is a community of people dedicated to Jesus. Our goal is to GO everywhere, MAKE a difference, TEACH and equip others. We are committed to SERVING GOD TOGETHER; by engaging in our communities, we aim to see transformation take place and hope flourish."

We are located in the country and some would say we are “in the middle of nowhere”. We are surrounded by small villages and a few towns. Living at Holmsted Manor means we often go ‘out’ to get involved in other things. We are actively looking to partner with local churches, ministries and other community groups to make a difference in our area. Currently we have staff working in a local food bank, volunteering with ministries working with the vulnerable and singing in a local community choir.

We also get involved in local churches with some of our team leading youth work, mission and outreach and preaching and speaking. We love to invite our local community to join us for some of our activities and there are at least one, and often two, community type activities every month – from barbeques to open mics.

How YWAM came to own Holmsted Manor… the short version!

Built in 1891, Holmsted Manor was home to several families until 1961 when it became a boarding school. Then in the late sixties, it became the ‘Silver Springs Country Club.

It was the first property purchased by YWAM in England and was the third property purchased by YWAM worldwide. In 1971, the small YWAM England team – only four people at that time, felt that they should buy a property and that led specifically to Holmsted Manor, and a wait of four years until the purchase could finally happen.

In 1975, YWAM bought Holmsted Manor for £60,000. When you visit we’ll be able to show you around and tell you the whole story of the miraculous journey to making Holmsted Manor a home for YWAM.

Since September 1975, Holmsted Manor has been a landmark location, helping to shape modern missions from of the UK by training and equipping hundreds of people who have gone on to serve God in the nations as ministry leaders in Albania, vicars in England, prayer tour guides in India amongst others. It is a property that continues to provide a firm foundation in this ever-changing world to ‘know God and make Him known.’

What is YWAM?

Youth With A Mission is a global movement of Christians from many cultures, age groups, and traditions, dedicated to serving Jesus throughout the world. We unite in a common purpose “to know God and to make Him known”

When YWAM started in 1960, the main focus was to get youth involved in missions. Today, we still focus on young people, but we also have people involved aged 9 to 90!

Currently YWAMers, from over 130 countries, serve in more than 1,100 locations in over 180 countries, with over 18,000 full-time YWAMers.

We are called to love, worship, and obey God; to love and serve His Body, the church and to present the whole gospel for the whole person throughout the whole world.

We put this into practice through our Foundational Values – the “DNA” of YWAM which express the unique family characteristics of who we are. YWAM has room for Christians with interest and experience in many areas of society, including justice, church planting, the arts, media, family ministry, business and medicine.

YWAM England

YWAM has locations throughout England, seeing a new wave of missionaries going out across the world with the love of Jesus as well as seeing community and societal transformation in our own nation.