There are usually three or four guests living here at any one time. Some come just for a long weekend and some stay for several months. Guests of all ages have come from all corners of the UK and, sometimes, from abroad. We've had people from all faiths though, most usually, of no faith. Quite often former guests will roll up for a day or two to check we're all OK and to tell stories about 'the old days'.
Then there are our wonderful volunteers who come every Wednesday. We all eat lunch together though currently, due to covid 19, we are only able to host them in the afternoons.
Kaye runs her fantastically successful Forest School here. That school means there are occasionally a dozen happy, loud kids under the parachute by the pond. There are other schools that sometimes come here, accompanied by teachers and volunteers.
It's hard to say who 'we' are really, as there are so many people who make this place what it is. Our founders, Toby and Francesca, moved here in 2010 with a vision to create a place of refuge. From small beginnings they built up much of the structure and community that we find here today. They and their family then moved to Parma in Italy in July 2017. Since then Chris and Katharine and their boys Josh and Natty have been the family in residence. More recently the warden team has been expanded by the arrival of Hazel.
We believe in a God who is love and so all are welcome. We hope that all who stay here will experience acceptance and encouragement.
In some ways it feels as if we have been here ages, but in others it is clear that we are still learning! One thing we have learned is that sharing life, giving and receiving and spending time with people who are different from us is beneficial to all.
The place couldn't run without the wise heads on our trustees committee. They make sure we're all being sensible and sustainable (emotionally and financially as well as ecologically). They often come down for a day or a weekend.
There are the many people who receive our newsletter and quite a few generous souls who support us with prayer or with a standing order.
We were recently on the One Show!
We were very excited to spend the day filming in the summer of 2020 with the family football, a meal, and interviews with Chris, Katharine and some guests.
And then, in October 2020 there we were on the One Show.
You can view the clip here...
There are many people and places we find inspiring. Here are just a few: