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Rowing vicar raises money for church

PUBLISHED: 23:02 06 September 2009 | UPDATED: 11:57 06 July 2010

The rev Neville Khambatta.

The rev Neville Khambatta.

Hayley Mace

A Broadland vicar made the most of the riverside setting of his parishes this weekend as he rowed 15 miles between villages to raise money for the upkeep of his churches.

A Broadland vicar made the most of the riverside setting of his parishes this weekend as he rowed 15 miles between villages to raise money for the upkeep of his churches.

The Rev Neville Khambatta rowed himself around Ludham, Catfield, Hickling and Potter Heigham to prove the theory that he is the only vicar in England who can travel around his whole benefice by water.

He set off on his 15-mile trip from Wood End Staithe in Catfield on Saturday morning, rowed along the Rivers Ant and Thurne before passing under Potter Heigham bridge and finishing at Hickling Broad at about 4.15pm.

Mr Khambatta, a keen sailor, said: "There were a lot of people who had come out to support me, watching and cheering from the bridges and banks.

"I was exhausted when I finished and certainly needed an early night, but it was well worth the effort because not only did I raise money, but I had a truly lovely day."

He hopes to have raised about £1,000, which will go towards the £50,000 needed every year to maintain the churches he is responsible for - St Catherine's in Ludham, All Saints' in Catfield, St Mary's and St Nicholas'.

Although he enjoyed his day on the Broads, Mr Khambatta said he was hoping for a slightly easier fundraising journey next year. He said: "I won't be doing it again, but perhaps I could arrange for my parishioners to row me round next time."

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