Are you interested in becoming a member of our Community?
We are an independent Quaker Community living, working and worshipping together. We offer a diversity of shared and individual accommodation in an historic stone building set in 10 acres of woodland.
Living and working with our Quaker testimonies we offer a programme of retreats, working weeks and individual stays to our guests.
Members of the community share their skills and offer service to provide hospitality, run our retreat programme and manage the maintenance of our buildings, gardens and woodland. All members pay rent and volunteer in the work of the community, some also have part time employment in the locality. Our twice daily worship is central to our commitment to living together in the spirit, as are our weekly house meetings. We aim to find a balance between service, work and personal time. We are supported by local Quaker Elders and Overseers. Members and regular attenders welcome.
If you would like to find out more please contact the community or come and visit us, join a Retreat or come along to an Exploring Community weekend.
Amanda joined the community in December 2018, here is the story of her journey.
Six years ago I gave up my job of 22 years and packed up my home (28 years) to Live Adventurously.
Initially the plan was just for one year, by then I would have used up my savings and sponsorship money, but the experience was so amazing I never went back home and now what I described as my gap years has become my life.
I have volunteered with charities in the UK and Peru, travelled to places from my childhood dreams (Lake Titicaca, the Sahara Desert), lived in intentional communities, worked as a Friend in Residence, worshipped with Quakers, Buddhists, Christians, Hare Krishnas and many others in places as diverse as California, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Spain and Morocco. I have met so many people, made new friends and learnt many new skills. I have been excited, exhilarated, challenged, scared, overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers, seen poverty, true simplicity and found great happiness. Underlining all of these experiences has been a desire to live by the Quaker Testimonies and along with that noble plan to recognise and accept all the frustrations, compromises and failures that go along with attempting to live a quakerly life.
A culmination of all these adventures and experiences has led me to become a member of the Quaker Community in Bamford, Derbyshire.
The current incarnation of the community has developed from over 30 years of intentional community life established in the old Derwent Waterboard buildings in the Hope Valley part of the Peak District National Park.
The Community owns the large main building and annexes, several outbuildings and 10 acres of gardens and woodlands. Together we explore living our lives through the Quaker Testimonies with an emphasis on simplicity and sustainability. We do this by running a retreat programme alongside self catering accommodation for those seeking rest and renewal in a truly unique environment.
Although this may sound idyllic, exciting, invigorating and fun, it is also extremely challenging and very hard work! We are all very diverse and bring many different skills and experiences to the endeavour. Together we provide; hospitality, catering, cleaning and laundry, growing our own food, IT, business and financial coordination, maintenance and decorating, gardening and woodland management. Some days the work seems never ending and overwhelming, but overcoming the challenges together can be very satisfying, exhilarating and brings a sense of true community.
For me one of the many attractions to joining the community was that no one person is in charge, we all share the many responsibilities and functions needed to maintain these historic buildings and the land. We try to follow the Quaker Business Method in our our decision making which, inevitably, means a lot of meetings on top of the practical work required to run a home, retreat centre and a financially viable business.
The bedrock of all of this is our twice daily meeting for worship. For me the stunning views from our Meeting Room overlooking the Valley allow us to share the moment when the first rays of sun appear over the hills, fill the valley and witness that which is eternal. Then no matter how difficult our day has been and the challenges we have faced, coming together in silent thanksgiving at the end of the day is for me personally like a reset button. We try to put our differences aside, remember our testimonies and renew our witness to live as Quakers together.
The community is always changing; visitors, guests and new members bring different experiences, points of view and skills.
If you are interested in exploring the idea of community or perhaps joining us why not come along to an Exploring Community Weekend?