"As members of the Core Community, we live here so that other people can visit – whether once or many times – and share in the experience of community that is Othona. Our role is an enabling one. We look after this lovely place, we do the necessary administration and plan the programme, we run some of the events ourselves, and we do our best to maintain a caring, accepting atmosphere based on open Christian values. Plenty of other people help from time to time but our commitment is 24/7.
Othona is unusual. Our particular model of community is unique. But part of the uniqueness is that if people 'get it', if Othona gets under their skin, it can go very deep. And so, many in our wide network of members and supporters feel strongly about this place as their 'other home', their 'spiritual haven' and so on. We who live and work here are maintaining something very precious.
What does this mean in practice? For one thing, the volunteer help of all sorts offered by non-resident members can be phenomenal. And so can be their hopes and expectations of us! In that way life here is demanding, I won't pretend otherwise. It's also demanding because of the sheer number of people with whom we try to interact in an authentic and rounded way – not just as service provider to customers, but as mutually valued members of a community. All of us have our introverted sides, our need to be quiet and alone at times, but to enjoy life at Othona I think you need to be happy extroverting too.
Demanding then, but rewarding too. In what sense? Well, you won't grow rich, that's for sure; our salaries are very modest. But the benefits in kind are considerable (and not taxable, by the way). A shared house (council tax paid by Othona) overlooking the Chesil Beach, surrounded by National Trust meadows and our own woods. No commuting and no rat race. Good home cooking every day of the week. What are these worth?
And there are the riches of friendship, fulfilment and – dare I say – wisdom. Friendship: at Othona I've been privileged to meet outstanding people, some of great vision and public distinction, some of anonymous but remarkable courage and goodness. Fulfilment: I find Othona at its best gives us the rare opportunity to live and work in an environment shaped by the values we believe in. Wisdom: core members usually testify to the deeper understanding of self and others which this lifestyle not only helps, but almost forces, them to develop. The Real Stories page gives you a taste of other core members' experiences."
Living and Working Here
This is us!*
Corrina Taylor - Short-term Core
Daniel Bettridge - Short-term Core
Juliet Hilary - Short-term Core
Orlando Krippner - Caterer
Robin Shaw - Volunteer & publicity
Tony Jaques - Warden
*Photo of Core coming soon!
Some of the Core having a sing song in front of the fire with visitors