Community & Volunteers

Our community at Hilfield Friary is an intentional community of brothers of the First Order of the Society of St. Francis (an Anglican religious order with life-vowed members) together with men and women who commit themselves to share in the Franciscan life and wok of the friary.

Our life is centered around the chapel and the refectory; common prayer and meals eaten together are the framework for everything else that goes on here. We meet daily to plan and share the work of the Friary and regularly at other times to reflect on our life and take decisions about the community.

Long term Volunteers are called Community Members,they  have roles of responsibilty in different areas.These can be looking after the guest administration or the land,garden,kitchen etc.

We all have different skills and strengths here at Hilfield and you can also learn new ones and share your talents with others here so we can all support and help each other as needed.

Volunteer Life

The life of the Friary relies almost completely on people offering their time, their work and their gifts either coming to us from home on a day-to-day basis or living with us for a time as part of the Hilfield Community. We welcome students in their gap year, people of age 18-30 searching for a new direction in their lives or wishing to experience Christian community, and Franciscan tertiaries who find themselves free of other commitments.

Volunteers need to have a statutory check for the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. There is a required safeguarding course, one on food hygiene and a first aid course.

What you might be doing if you volunteer:

  • Organic gardening, growing vegetables and fruit.
  • Helping to care for livestock and manage the land, building fences and planting hedges.
  • Caring for the woodlands, coppicing and harvesting wood.
  • Conservation: helping to encourage diversity of plant and animal life.
  • Recycling
  • Caring for guests: welcoming, cooking food and cleaning guest rooms.
  • Helping in the kitchen, cooking and cleaning.
  • Using computer skills to help with publicity and office management.

If you live with us for a time, we provide board and lodging free, one day off a week, and an allowance to cover your basic personal expenses.

So if you have at least six months to spare, are physically fit, and want to experience life in Christian community then get in touch with Br  Clark at  01300 342314 or use the contact form below.

Please upload a CV or documents if required

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Day volunteers

We are looking for local people who can offer a day per week (or per month) to help in the kitchen or garden or in the Hilfield shop. Please contact us to talk about this.

Live in Community

Live in community members are worker volunteers who often have an area of responsibilty at Hifield, For instance Lynn is our Kitchen manager and her role is to ensure we have a sparkling clean kitchen, a balanced diet and we are also competently trained in safely cooking for our guests and each other. Lynn works hard to ensure we try to buy local produce where possible  and we minimise food wastage and cater for any diet needs that are requested.

Richard is our longest community volunteer member having lived here for over 12 years now and he looks after all the land and animals we have and helps to educate us and the guests on living lightly on the land and caring for the animals that live here.

Live in Volunteers

Most of our Live in volunteers live in Douglas house, this is a large 10 bedroom house with a comfortable fully equipped Kitchen and a Spacious Lounge which is for Douglas House residents only to relax and enjoy their free time, it has a lovely log fire which is a favourite pastime of many a winters evening to relax beside.

Each resident in Douglas House has there own room which is furnished with the essentials and of course all bedding/towels are provided.There is a large washing machine and drying room and a clothes line outside for when the weather is suitable.

All live in volunteers have the monday off and we have a regular trip to a local town for general shopping needs and we often have days out either to the beach, cinema or other local events.


3 short films about Hilfield

Volunteer Videos from Hilfield Friary

Please view our 3 videos on life at Hilfield Friary as a live in Volunteer.

Hilfield Friary is a great place to volunteer and learn lots of new skills, to grow deeper in Faith and understand how the Franciscan way of life is a beautiful blend of looking after each other and caring for nature and animals.