So, you’re thinking of applying to join the core community at Othona West Dorset?
We welcome your interest. Living and working in community at Othona could bring you, among other things:
- plenty of contact with people, sometimes at a deep level
- the rootedness of a relatively simple lifestyle
- variety in our event programme and in daily activities
- teamwork with core members and many other Othona supporters
- spirituality that underlies all we do, with or without ‘God talk’
Core community members often find their time here is life changing. But before you go any further, there are three key points we’d ask you to consider carefully. They apply whatever the role you have in mind. They’re really more important than any job description.
Spirit and Intention
You are looking to belong to an intentional Christian community of a very inclusive sort. This doesn’t mean all our members are card-carrying Christians – you don’t have to be. But it does mean our shared vision includes the values of forgiveness, gratitude and relatively simple living. And we need to honour spiritual practice (meditation, prayer etc.) that opens us and our visitors to ‘the power we live by’ – whether or not we call that God. Othona draws these principles from the example of Jesus. We recognise them in many other religious traditions too.
Service and Hospitality
At Othona we need to be people who can find our nourishment in service and hospitality. A lot of our time may be given over to tasks like preparing food, taking bookings or cleaning rooms. But our main focus has to be human beings with all their gifts and glitches. If we are introverted by nature, in community we must be able to extravert too when it’s appropriate (and vice versa, for health and sanity!) And we aren’t here principally for our own personal development or therapy – even though growth and healing may come to us as a result (which is great).
Work and Life
Core community membership – for a few months or for years – is more a life than a job. The boundaries between ‘work’ and ‘life’ are less clearly defined for us than for most people. Anyone just hoping for a job in a beautiful place with convenient accommodation should look elsewhere. That won’t be motivation enough when things get tough (as they will do in community, sooner or later).
Othona is “a place to be real together” – demanding yes, but very rewarding too. For many who love it the Othona Community comes to mean ‘home’. Will it for you?