A Place to be Real Together



A way to spend 2 to 4 weeks at Othona. Space for yourself, plus greater or lesser amounts of helping out.
We offer limited opportunities for individuals to spend up to a month at a time living alongside our core community. We can offer one and sometimes two sabbatical spaces at various times of year, dates negotiable and depending on bookings and other activities here. The minimum stay will be a fortnight, the maximum a month. Each individual arrangement is separately discussed. Before agreeing we want to be confident it will suit both you and us. We will not usually arrange a sabbatical with somebody who does not know Othona at all or has not met the core community.
What do we mean by sabbatical?
You may or may not be on a sabbatical from paid work. But we take it you are looking for a few weeks 'off the treadmill' of whatever your normal daily life is. You might come here with specific intentions (to finish that quilt, to do some concerted reading on a particular subject, to get fit by walking n miles a day etc.) or with more of an open mind. The Sabbath in Jewish and Christian understanding has been thought of as a precious time, a stepping back to gain perspective, a pause for blessing, a spiritual breather. We'll be delighted if you can find this at Othona.
What will we provide?
You will have a bedroom to yourself - usually the same one throughout your stay, though we reserve the right to ask you to move if necessary. You'll have extensive access to our library and the art and craft room, as well as the chapel with its piano, music centre and prayerful space. Any needs you have for desk space, computer access etc. we will need to discuss with you in advance.
Your meals will be provided on the same basis as those for the core community members. That is, when there is no advertised event taking place you'll find some or all core members may be off duty. Then we fend for ourselves as regards meals, but using food from the community kitchen as we wish. You'll be supported in doing the same when necessary. When there is an advertised event, as you would expect, the community provides three meals a day.
What will be expected? How much involvement with the core community's work?
A stay at Othona, we hope, always includes some elements of work, worship, study and play (our founder's mantra). During a sabbatical stay you're part of a community, sharing in the pattern of our day. As regards work, we feel there is a demand for two 'levels' of sabbatical involvement which we'll call hands-on and hands-off. (Remember, we do have space from time to time for volunteers, who stay with us entirely free of charge and work alongside us. But that is a much more full time commitment, not a sabbatical at all. Do ask us about it if this is really what you're after.)
If you come for a hands-on sabbatical you'll be offering five mornings a week (or equivalent time) of voluntary help to whatever is going on in community (obviously we mean jobs suited to your fitness, skills etc.). For a hands-off sabbatical we'll ask you to do the kind of daily job or jobs we ask of anybody staying in the community, but no more than that. This will leave you much more time and energy to pursue your own chosen activities (the thesis, the books, the walks…)
What will it cost?
We will agree in advance the dates of your arrival and departure and the charge for your stay. We'll need to take into account if you wish to be a participant, during your stay, in any workshop or similar activity offered on our programme. The rates for each type of sabbatical are set with an eye to Othona covering its overheads and not losing out because of the room you'll be occupying during advertised events. We have kept them as low as possible, but please feel free to talk the possibilities through with us if the charges below are prohibitive for you. As with most of our event bookings as of 2021, we quote three levels of charge, giving you the opportunity to judge which best suits your circumstances. See here about this pricing policy. 
Hands-on sabbatical:  Basic: £21 a day    Bonus: £23 a day    Benefactor: £25 a day

Hands-off sabbatical:  Basic: £42 a day    Bonus: £46 a day    Benefactor: £50 a day
We will ask for a deposit of £60 when your sabbatical stay is booked and payment of the balance in one or two stages (usually one in advance) by agreement.
How do you apply?
Please contact us by phone on 01308 897 130 and speak to Tony Jaques. Or email us at bookings@othona-bb.org.uk