Hilfield Friary

Postal Address
The Friary

01300 341345
Year started
Rural, West Dorset – 9 miles from nearest town of Sherborne
Number of over 18s
Number of under 18s
Ideological focus
Christian – Anglican Franciscan with an emphasis on justice, peace and the environment
Legal structure
registered charity
Open in principle to new members
Charge visitors
Work in Lieu

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 Hilfield Friary there continue to live the Franciscan brothers of SSF, but they are now joined by other men and women – young and old, married and single – who together constitute the Hilfield Friary Community. This Community shares in a rhythm of daily prayer, helps to look after the Friary land and buildings, and offers hospitality to guests and visitors. People of all backgrounds are welcome here – Christians, those of other faiths and of none – for rest, retreat, and renewal of life. The emergency provision for ‘wayfarers’ ended in 2004, but the Friary still provides a place of acceptance and supported living for those who are in particular need. Following the example of Francis of Assisi there is a particular emphasis on living simply, generously and joyfully on God’s earth. The land and the animals it supports are cared for and provide food for the community. There is a common table around which the Community and its guests share meals, and yet there is also time and space to be quiet and alone. The Friary is not just a beautiful, peaceful oasis; the Community has a concern for promoting justice and reconciliation in a troubled world, and for proclaiming a wise ecology in the face of our culture’s environmental foolishness. At the heart of the Friary lies the Chapel where the Community comes together for prayer four times a day. Celebrating the Eucharist and praying the scriptures in the Daily Office, as well as the times of silent meditation, bring us back to the source and goal of all creation, renew us in the life of Jesus Christ, and unite us with our brothers and sisters throughout the world.

community does not share income
community does not require capital from members
community has broadband internet access
community generates some of its own electricity
community uses solar energy
community buildings insulated to a high standard
community members use bicycles
community has organised system for car sharing
community is not accessible by public transport
community shares utilities
community has tool sharing system
community has organised systems for recycling
community has some kind of ecosewage system
community is involved in land management
community grows a lot of vegetables
animals kept communally
regular communal meals
community has policy which restricts smoking
community buildings at least partly wheelchair accessible
community is involved in campaigning

Hilfield Friary is currently looking for new members

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Hilfield Friary is currently looking for volunteers

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