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

There are currently 19 members the Hilfield Community: a young family with three small children, two other married couples, four young volunteers with us for up to a year, others who are here for a longer period, and six SSF brothers – all in all a rich mixture of people of different backgrounds and from different parts of the world.

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. We also provide a place at the Friary for those who may be in need of some particular support in living.

Hilfield Friary 2018



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, Franciscan tertiaries who find themselves free of other commitments, and people searching for a new direction for their lives.

Day volunteers:

We are also looking for local people who could perhaps offer a day per week or per month maybe to help in the kitchen or in the garden or maybe in the Hilfield shop! Please contact us to talk about this.

Current volunteers:

We have a varied selection of volunteers at present: 1 from China, 1 from Germany and 2 from the UK.

We are now looking for young people aged 18-30 to come and share in our community for a year from sept 2018.

We are particularly looking for a volunteer community member who has an interest in and preferably some experience of conservation for a profile of this opportunity please click here.

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 the Hilfield Guardian, or phone 01300 342312.

What you might be doing if you offer your help:

  • Organic gardening, growing vegetables for our use, and helping to care for the livestock.
  • Looking after the woodlands, coppicing and harvesting wood for fuel and craft work.
  • Conservation – encouraging diversity of plant and animal life.
  • Managing a thorough re-cycling programme and helping us to live with a light footprint.
  • Caring for the guests who come to stay and preparing their accommodation.
  • Cooking – taking a turn in the kitchen, usually for a day a week.
  • Welcoming day groups who come to the Friary to learn about issues of living peaceably with people and the environment.
  • Using computer skills to help with publicity and office management.

Those who volunteer need to undertake the statutory check for the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults, and those who work in the kitchen have to participate in a short food hygiene course.

If you live with us for a time community we will provide your board and lodging free, one day off per week and up to £25 per week to cover your basic personal expenses.