Community and Volunteers

Our Community

Our community at Hilfield Friary is an intentional community of a few 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 work 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.

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 aged 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.

Volunteer life

Long term Volunteers are called Community Members, they have roles of responsibility 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.

Living with us

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.

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 Br John the Guardian on 01300 342314 or click on the online Volunteers application form.

Short term and local

We are also looking for short term volunteers to help at our busiest times either on the land or garden.  Please contact us to talk about this.

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

Application form

Please click the button below to find out more about being a volunteer.

What you might do

  • 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.

Live in Community

Live in community members are worker volunteers who often have an area of responsibilty at Hifield.  For instance the Kitchen manager’s role is to ensure we have a sparkling clean kitchen and a balanced diet.  They make sure we are also competently trained in safely cooking for our guests and each other.  They work hard to ensure we try to buy local produce where possible.  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 18 years now.  He looks after all the land and animals we have. Richard helps to educate us and the guests about living lightly on the land and caring for the animals that live here.

Live in volunteers

Most of our live-in volunteers stay in Douglas house, a large 10 bedroom house.  There is a comfortable fully equipped kitchen and a spacious lounge with a lovely log fire where residents can relax and enjoy their free time.

Each resident in Douglas House has their own room that is furnished with the essentials.  Of course all bedding and 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 Mondays off and we have a regular trip to a local town for general shopping needs.  We often have days out either to the beach, cinema or other local events.

Hilfield Friary is part of the Society of St Francis, a worldwide Anglican

Religious Order.  Visit their website:

Hilfield Friary Cookie Policy

Hilfield Friary Group Booking Cancellation Policy

We have a Community day off every Monday.  In an emergency please

phone 01300 341345 and leave a message.