Spiritual Communities in the UK

Spiritual and Religious communities

For members of these communities the belief system often comes before the desire to live communally. But it’s often said that having some kind of underlying religious belief can make a community work a lot better.

Unsurprisingly a large number of faith-based communities also offer a refuge to others that have difficulty within mainstream society.

The Abbey (OX14 4AF)

The Abbey is a Retreat, Education and Conference Centre near Oxford. It offers opportunities for visitors, coming as individuals or in groups, to engage with spiritual development, personal growth, organisational inquiry and to celebrate significant life events. The Abbey offers a peaceful and reflective environment. The house itself is a beautiful Grade 1 listed medieval building, with an inner courtyard, set in four acres of mixed garden and woodland. The Abbey's architectural heritage links back to the work of the Benedictines in the 13th century, and as such provides a welcoming and meditative atmosphere. The daily life of The Abbey…

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Ashram Community (S4 7FN)

Ashram Community began in 1967, with the intention of developing committed urban communities, which would develop appropriate new forms of Christian community related to urban needs. This led to having inner-city Community Houses in the 1970's to 1990's, in seven cities. Now it is concentrated in Sheffield where there is a community house and a community project, although new residents are not being recruited at present. The Community sustains its radical Christian base through regional Branches, half-yearly Weekends and half-yearly Community General Meetings, plus Inner City Retreats, Study and Research, Summer School, Holidays, and other occasions. The Community wrote and…

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Beech Grove Community (CT15 4FB)

Beech Grove is part of the Bruderhof, an international communal movement of families and single men and women who seek to put into action Christ’s command to love God and neighbor. Like the first Christians described in Acts 2 and 4, we feel called to a way of life in which all are of one heart and soul, no one possesses anything, and everything is shared in common. We also draw inspiration from the Anabaptists of the Reformation era who revived the early Christian example of discipleship in full community. Jesus Christ and his spirit and teachings are the foundation…

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Bhaktivedanta Manor (WD25 8EZ)

The headquarters of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness in the UK, Bhaktivedanta Manor offers a range of residential and day courses based upon the teachings of the Vedas, India's ancient Sanskrit writings. In the many workshops and courses conducted throughout the year, you can learn about yoga, meditation, Ayurveda (holistic living), vegetarian cookery, Vastu (the 'Indian Feng Shui'), Vedic astrology and much more. You will meet people from all walks of life who share one thing in common, a desire to find greater fulfilment and a deeper meaning to life. The Manor lifestyle is encapsulated by the maxim 'Simple…

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Botton Village (YO21 2NJ)

Botton Village, an intentional community within the worldwide Camphill Movement, is home to 330 people, about 140 of whom are adults with special needs. People work on the land, which includes farms, gardens and forest, in workshops and in our houses. We live together as extended families where we share most meals together. Everyone contributes to the wellbeing of the community through their work, irrespective of ability, and our needs are met, not by a wage system, but by sharing resources according to individual requirements. Every year, we have many young short term co-workers coming to us, mainly from the…

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Camphill Rudolf Steiner Schools (AB15 9EP)

The Camphill Rudolf Steiner Schools, which are situated on three estates in Royal Deeside, provide curative education for children with special needs ranging in age from 3 to 19 years. A total of 150 co-workers live together with 80 pupils in 11 residential units: co-workers/volunteers share the work that has to be done - teaching, caring, household tasks, gardening, etc. In the traditional Camphill household the child is part of a 'house community' which approximates closely to a family environment where there is continuity, consistency of treatment, organisational stability and a sense of personal security. From the foundation of the…

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Corbenic Camphill Community (PH8 0DY)

Corbenic Camphill Community is situated in beautiful Strathbraan, four miles from the town of Dunkeld, and twenty miles from the city of Perth. The Community was established in June 1978 and is registered with the Care Inspectorate. Over the years it has developed into a community of approximately 100 people, 38 of whom are adults with special needs. Set in 100 acres of land, it is made up of six households and a variety of workshops.

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Darvell Bruderhof (TN32 5DR)

The Darvell Bruderhof is located in the hills of East Sussex, about one hundred kilometres south of London, near the southern England coastline. The rolling hills that immediately surround Darvell include woods and hedge-lined fields, usually grazed by sheep and cows. On our property you’ll find brick apartment buildings and communal buildings including a dining hall, meeting room, kitchen, laundry, school, offices, and factory. We are part of the Bruderhof movement. Founded in 1920 in Germany, the Bruderhof (“place of brothers” in German) has its roots in the Anabaptist tradition of Europe’s Radical Reformation. We practice adult baptism. We are…

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Isle of Erraid Community (PA66 6BN)

Erraid is a small Hebridean island in Scotland, in view of Iona. The island is one square mile in size and our small community lives and works on the land. We live in old light house keepers’ cottages, which we share with our guests. Life on Erraid seems pretty much like it must have been in the 1870s when the houses were established. We work in the gardens, heat the cottages and our water with woodburning stoves, drink rain water and live a life very close to the elements. What we are doing on a day to day basis is…

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Findhorn Foundation (IV36 3TZ)

The only thing that stays the same at Findhorn is change. People come here and experience inner changes, their hearts opening, their minds relaxing, their consciousness expanding. The community itself is always changing too, with new management structures, new decision-making procedures, new initiatives moving forward — all the better to reflect the deeper issues and innovative solutions for our times. After 50 years the Findhorn Community is still committed to serving spirit, with “love in action” being the most widely practised mode of service. How that service is carried out keeps changing and developing over the years. Where once the…

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Guiseppe Conlon House (N4 1BG)

We are a community of the radical Christian “Catholic Worker” movement. The Catholic Worker is an ecumenical, pacifist, and anarchist movement founded by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin in New York in 1933. As a community we are dedicated to living simply, in solidarity with those who are marginalised by society and in resistance to violence and injustice. The London Catholic Worker was brought together by the Jubilee Ploughshares 2000 disarmament action, in response to the need for a Catholic Worker community of hospitality and resistance in the world’s second imperial city. In June 2010 the London Catholic Worker opened…

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Hilfield Friary (DT2 7BE)

Franciscan brothers first arrived here in 1921 to establish a home of refuge and rehabilitation for the large number of displaced men who were then tramping the roads of rural England. At the Friary they found a welcome as brothers, the restoration of their dignity through shared work, and the opportunity of rehabilitation and training. From this small beginning has grown the Society of St Francis, an Anglican order of men and women inspired by the example of Francis of Assisi; SSF now has communities of brothers and sisters, and many lay or ‘tertiary’ members, throughout the world. Today at…

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Holy Rood House (Y07 1HX)

A place of peace and tranquillity, overlooking the Hambledon Hills, the Centre for Health and Pastoral Care offers therapeutic and safe space for people of all ages. Discovering acceptance and a relaxed environment, guests find empowerment to work towards their own health and well being, with professional support from counsellors, psychotherapists, masseurs and creative arts therapists. The friendship and care of staff and the residential community, excellent home cooking, gardens and animals, laughter and sharing, create a sense of belonging, and a few days or a couple of weeks becomes an important oasis in life for many people. The gentle…

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Iona Community (PA76 6SN)

The lona community is a dispersed Christian community which maintains 3 residential centres on Mull and lona, as well as an office base in Glasgow. The community came into being around the rebuilding of the monastic quarters of the mediaeval abbey on lona during the middle of the 20th century. The community today remains commited to 'rebuilding the common life' through working for social and political change, striving for the renewal of the church with an ecumenical emphasis, and exploring new, more inclusive, approaches to worship, all based on an integrated understanding of spirituality. On Iona we run the Abbey…

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L’Arche Highlands (IV2 4QR)

L'Arche Inverness is part of the world-wide federation of L'Arche communities founded by Jean Vanier in 1964, that aims to build community with people with learning disabilities. Our community is based in the capital of the Scottish Highlands and consists of 5 households where community members live together; those with learning disabilities and those who come as 'assistants', sharing in every aspect of daily living: shopping, cooking, celebrating, working and praying together. We are primarily a community comprising members representing various Christian traditions. We are also happy to welcome those of other faith traditions and none. Assistants come from all…

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L’Arche Ipswich (IP1 3QU)

Our first house, The Cornerstone, opened in 2006 and is situated in a pleasant and quiet area of Ipswich near Christchurch Park about 10 minutes' walk to the centre of town. The house has spacious common areas and a large garden. There are six people with learning disabilities and six assistants living together here, with others supporting in various roles. We are creating a network of community houses in Ipswich to provide a range of facilities for people in various circumstances wishing to be a part of who we are and what we do. L'Arche is a place of encounter…

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L’Arche London (SE27 9JU)

L'Arche London is a diverse and inclusive Christian-ecumenical Community of people with and without learning disabilities. We welcome people of all faiths and of none. Mutual relationships are at the heart of our Community. We are committed to high quality support and to developing our relationships with the local neighbourhood and professional services. We recognise and celebrate the unique value of every person and our need for one another. In the joys and struggles of our daily life together, we strive to be a sign of hope and justice. There are four community households in the West Norwood area of…

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Lee Abbey Aston Small Missional Community (B6 5ND)

We are a small community of Christians based in a socio-economically deprived but culturally rich area of Birmingham. Part of the Lee Abbey Movement, our aim is to 'communicate Christ through relationships'. Our core values are represented by the acronym HOPE: Hospitality, Openness, Prayer and Engagement. We work closely with local churches, and seek to deepen our own faith as we also look to share the love of Jesus with those around us.

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Lee Abbey Knowle Small Missional Community (BS4 1JN)

At the invitation of Knowle West Churches Together, the Lee Abbey community has been present on this South Bristol housing estate continually since 1992. Community members commit to the rule of life and to serve where God leads them in the local area. Our ministry has included pastoral visits, meeting physical and educational needs and supporting local churches in their worship, discipleship and mission. Because we are not a project, we focus more on building relationships over time with people who live or work in the area. Although local partnerships help us meet many needs, we humbly acknowledge there are…

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Pilsdon at Malling Community (ME19 6HH)

The Pilsdon at Malling Community is a community looking to provide a place of healing for those in need. We rely on volunteers to make this possible and invite those who feel called to help in healing and to share the joys of community living, we are in a lovely part of Kent and are next door to a Anglican abbey of nuns.

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Pilsdon Community (DT6 5NZ)

Pilsdon Community offers a refuge for anyone who needs a safe place to stay at a particular point in their life, some come whilst recovering from alcoholism or addiction, others coping with mental illness or following a crisis point in their life. Run by residential community members we offer friendship, hospitality, acceptance and many cups of tea. The Pilsdon Community is a smallholding of 12 acres with cows, sheep, pigs, chickens and ducks and a large vegetable garden. We rear our own meat, grow our own vegetables and make our own dairy produce. Everyone is invited to participate fully in…

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Sahaja (SP3 5DJ)

We are not currently seeking new members. We would like to maintain our presence here on Diggers & Dreamers though so that you can keep us in mind. Please check back occasionally to see if we have any vacancies. Love. The folk at Sahaja. X Last updated: 7 February 2020

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Scargill House (BD23 5HU)

Scargill House is home to a Christian community who welcome people for holidays, conferences and retreats in the spectacular Yorkshire Dales. We share hospitality, creativity, fun and really good food together – refreshing and equipping churches, groups and individuals, of all faiths and none.

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Taraloka Buddhist Retreat Centre for Women (SY13 2LD)

Taraloka is both a community and a Buddhist retreat centre for women, to which women come from all over the world to practise meditation and go deeper into the teachings of the Buddha. The centre has been running since 1985 and offers a beautiful environment in which to practise stillness and simplicity. All of us living here are committed to Buddhist ideals and to creating the best possible facilities for women to come on retreat. For the purposes of our work, people have individual responsibilities for different work areas, for example cooking, maintenance or leading retreats. We all actively pursue…

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Windsor Hill Wood (BA4 4JE)

Windsor Hill Wood is a woodland shelter inspired by the Pilsdon Community in Dorset. It aims to create a peaceful environment where people going through tough or uncertain times can come and reflect on life. We’re a small community centred on what is a family home. We’re essentially an “extended household” with half a dozen extra places laid at the table, and half a dozen extra beds. We offer traditional Christian hospitality to all, regardless of faith, race and so on. We hope to help people rediscover peace, silence and acceptance amidst the beauty and simplicity of the woods. Some…

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