A Place to be Real Together

Office Coordinator


Closing Date for applications: 17 January 2019

Starting Date: We hope our new Office Coordinator will be able to join us in late March or early April at the latest.

If you are shortlisted you will need to volunteer with us for a minimum of 6 days in early February or early March. As well as an introduction to the work, this allows you and the Othona team to get to know each other. We interview at the end of such a volunteer period, if both you and Othona decide to go ahead with your application.

How To Apply

First, read For All Applicants: The Three Keys.

Then read the job description below. Do you think living and working with us in this role might suit you?

If so, email us at recruitment@othona-bb.org.uk. Please use 'Office' as the subject.

We'll send you a more detailed job description and an application form and will outline the next steps.

Office Coordinator

As Core Member with lead responsibility for office work at Othona you’ll be representing the ethos and values of Othona to all who contact the Centre, offering a welcoming and helpful ‘joined up’ response. You will need to be a good administrator, and enjoy planning and organising the office tasks including responding to enquiries, taking bookings, maintaining good records and other aspects of office work.

But just as important, you need the personal qualities to be well organised without being inflexible, to cope calmly in changing circumstances, to work cheerfully in an unusual team. So emotional intelligence and an interest in people will need to underpin your technical skills.

The salary offered is £7,694.30 plus full board and lodging. You can expect two days off a week (on a variable rota) and 28 days annual leave allowance.

You’ll find yourself carrying out the majority of the practical office tasks including bookings, dealing with enquiries, general administration etc. Some of this work will be shared with other core members and volunteers, when your role will be to coordinate that activity. You will work closely with the Warden and with our non-resident part-time bookkeeper who does much of our money-handling and record-keeping.

Much of Othona’s marketing is by internet and our website is now set up to take online bookings and payments. You’ll therefore need good general computing skills, being an effective user of email, internet, Word (at least) and ideally with experience of database and/or CRM applications. Where necessary we will provide training. You’ll also need to be a sensitive and effective communicator on the phone.

Your working week will not be focussed entirely on office responsibilities. Like any core member you will be helping from time to time with cooking, event hosting and other tasks. On occasion you will be asked to cover for colleagues in their absence. These shared tasks apply to all established members of our core community.

As a core member and office coordinator in a community setting you will need to be comfortable taking responsibility, with an appropriate level of supervision and guidance. Sharing your life with colleagues and visitors as well as carrying out the work needs physical, mental and emotional resilience. Even when under stress, you should aim to take a positive view and keep a sense of perspective.

Othona is a spiritual community, but without lots of pious talk or formal religion. We do ask of core members that you’re committed to spiritual growth in yourself and others. Our approach is very inclusive: Othona West Dorset is a centre dedicated to human wellbeing – of body, mind and spirit. We have found that individual wellbeing grows through an experience of community with others and of connection with Spirit/God. We welcome people of all faiths and none. Only together can we hope to build a sustainable future of justice and peace. Down-to-earth and open-hearted, Othona has its roots in the inclusive Christian tradition, and now draws on a wealth of other inspirations too.

All Core Members

The following are all essential to the running of the centre and will be carried out by a combination of long and short term core members and local volunteers. They offer variety and sometimes the opportunity to use (or develop) special skills or pursue a personal interest.

The following tasks are shared between core members, often on a rota basis:
  • cooking
  • contributing to chapel gatherings (with support/training as appropriate)
  • cleaning
  • hosting (event liaison with facilitators and visitors)
  • dealing with rubbish and recycling
Certain tasks are usually allotted to core members for a period of time and then sometimes swapped. They allow you to pursue an area of interest in addition to your lead role. For example:
  • librarian
  • art room management
  • care of chapel and worship resources
The core members are at the heart of this Othona centre. They need to be committed to the work of the community, its ethos and values. Core members work actively to live these out in their everyday life, and to further them. The competences below provide good examples of what this means in practice. The programme explains what Othona is about. Our policy statements show how Othona seeks to realise these values in the way it manages people, its policies of equal opportunities and the green policies for house and grounds, and in its open Christianity.
The heart of Othona is people – core colleagues, visitors and all those who we interact with. People come because they know they will be welcomed, accepted and valued for who they are. Our role is not to be therapists or counsellors, but we do need to be interested in people and willing to listen and share. We also need to be aware of our own responses and feelings, and especially of the impact of our own behaviour on other people.
Othona core members live and work together, and are hosts to an ever-changing number of visitors. Core members have to be flexible, able to adapt to varied and changing circumstances and people.
The main purpose of Othona is to provide visitors with a taste of life in community. The core members need to be able to live and work together co-operatively, and provide support (and challenge). This is important not only to carry out our work but equally so we can enjoy our life together, relax and have fun.
Othona West Dorset offers an experience of Christian community of a very open sort – rooted in the Christian heritage, open to the widening future. This is an approach to spirituality where you may experience the fellowship of the spirit in everyday life. Although core members do not have to be Christian, and may be of any faith tradition or none, we expect that they will respect the importance of the Christian tradition and the values that are at the heart of Othona. They adopt a 'Rule of Life' as a framework for shared life, and participate actively in the spiritual aspects of community life including chapel services.


Tony Jaques, after 20 years' experience, shares about the personal qualities that core members need in Living and Working at Othona – Is it For You?