The Abbey

Postal Address
The Green
Sutton Courtenay
OX14 4AF

Electronic Mail
01235 847401
Year started
Number of over 18s
Ideological focus
Legal structure
registered charity
Open in principle to new members
Charge visitors
Work in Lieu

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 is managed and run by a small residential lay community. This community is part of a wider body, The Abbey’s Council and Company Membership, who are responsible for its care and stewardship. PLEASE DO NOT VISIT THE ABBEY WITHOUT MAKING AN APPOINTMENT.

community shares income to some extent
community does not require capital from members
community has broadband internet access
community does not generates any of its own electricity
community does not use solar energy
community buildings not insulated to a high standard
community members use bicycles
community does not have an organised system for car sharing
community is accessible by public transport
community shares utilities
community does not have tool sharing system
community has organised systems for recycling
community does not have any kind of ecosewage system
community is not involved in land management
community grows a lot of vegetables
no communal animals
regular communal meals
community has policy which restricts smoking
community buildings not wheelchair accessible
community is not involved in campaigning

Diggers & Dreamers
care of BCM Edge
United Kingdom

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Creative Commons Licence
Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, the content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

The Abbey is currently looking for new members

We are actively looking for one or two people to join the core of our small, intentional residential community, housed in a beautiful medieval building in the village of Sutton Courtenay between Didcot and Oxford, by the spring of 2017. There are currently three members, but one is planning to move on to new opportunities by the new year.

The most important criterion is that those who join us are willing and able to work together to, serve the wider Abbey Community and the long term mission of The Abbey, enrich our work as a group, maintain our beautiful centre and strengthen our links with the wider community. Being a member of the residential community involves maintaining the centre’s unique and welcoming ethos through aspects such as cooking, cleaning and maintenance of the grounds and planning and supporting the programme events and hiring of the facilities – and what is required to ensure their success. This requires qualities such as initiative, maturity, flexibility, empathy and willingness to contribute to the wider work of The Abbey.

We work on the basis of a range of shared, collaborative principles, processes and practices which are explained in more detail in a separate document, available on request.

Experience and expertise in areas such as hospitality, gardening, buildings, office management and marketing will be valuable and we will do our best both to make use of, and enable you to develop, these in your time at The Abbey. We are very open to new ideas on how best to develop the work of The Abbey. Experience indicates that those who commit to the life of the residential community gain enormously from doing so in a range of ways.

Members of the residential community receive a modest stipend to cover living expenses, in addition to accommodation and food. While there is a possibility of part-time membership of the community, to enable members to pursue other interests, we would normally expect at least a 4-day a week commitment, though, as indicated, flexibility in terms of roles and hours is an important aspect of membership of the community.

Deciding whether there is a good fit between what The Abbey and individuals can offer each other takes place through a discernment process, involving discussion and a period of time living and working at The Abbey. We will be happy to explain this process and answer any other queries, if this opportunity is something that you would like to explore. Please do not visit the Abbey without an appointment.

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The Abbey is currently looking for volunteers

Throughout the year, volunteers from all over the world are welcomed to join in the work and life of the Abbey. Men and women of all ages and backgrounds come here to work, play, make new friends and enjoy the beauty and tranquility of this unique place. We offer comfortable accommodation, good food and a friendly welcome. In return we ask that volunteers respect our values and be willing to help. A helpful attitude is more important than particular skills or abilities, though we welcome initiative and do try to employ volunteers where they are happiest. Most find it to be a very rewarding experience. Many of our volunteers come through the WWOOF UK or HelpX networks but individual arrangements can be made by contacting us directly. Applicants who are not current members of WWOOF or HelpX should send two references, including at least one from an employer, with any inquiry. We accept residential volunteers for stays of 2-6 weeks in the first instance. We also welcome local people who are able to offer help on a regular, non-residential basis. ***PLEASE DO NOT VISIT THE ABBEY WITHOUT AN APPOINTMENT***

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