How does this differ from other programmes?

Of course there are all sorts of opportunities for spending a year out in volunteering programmes of various types. We believe there are a few things which make the Lunesdale Community different, which may help you to discern the most appropriate path for you:

  • The Lunesdale Community offers the opportunity to be a part of an ongoing community with an established pattern of daily prayer. Beyond the year’s programme, there may be an opportunity for you to stay on here indefinitely, and to find a long-term home in community.
  • Our contemplative focus gives a very different emphasis to the common prayer and expression of spirituality. The essential core of our morning and evening prayer is an extended period of silence, fostering the development of a deep encounter with God.
  • This isn’t a year out; it’s not an escape or a side-track from regular life, and isn’t just a training course. This is an opportunity to investigate new directions, seek meaning and develop your full potential within the context of the experience and skills you already have, and your hopes for the future.
    The three proposed vocational tracks are designed to give you the opportunity to develop towards your future calling. So, rather than having to choose between a gap year and working towards your future, this programme will be a coherent step along the way to realising your goals. Whether you study, gain experience through an internship, or develop your own dreams as a social entrepreneur, there is space for these within the context of a full life in community.

We’re able to be quite flexible to accommodate the needs of people in different life situations. For example, it’s possible to join us as a couple, however, we do require in this situation that both partners are committed to fully participating in the life of the community; it’s not possible for a non-participating partner to accompany a community member.

Similarly, it may also be possible to come with children (who are not necessarily expected to participate to the same degree, but should be amenable to the model of life). Pets are also possible, by mutual agreement with the two resident Jack Russell Terriers.

While not exclusively aimed at young adults, this experience of community living does require a youthful spirit, with an interest in learning, flexibility in routines, openness to new ideas and deference to others as equals.

Next: Key dates for 2019-20