Volunteer as part of our evolving contemplative community near Poitiers, France



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  • Beschreibung


    The Chateau dates from the 1700's, backing onto the remains of an 11th Century monastery. Other buildings consist of a collection of farm buildings, a gatehouse and a hunting lodge. The land offers 160 acres of grassland, woodland, walled garden and marshes, with natural springs, a river and ancient fishing lake embedded in the south-facing aspect of the main house.

    This place was bought in October 2017 through funds raised from an international network of meditators rooted in the contemplative mystical traditions of Christianity. Restoration of the buildings began in January 2018. A small group have been living on site during the renovations, which has seeded the start of the resident community and daily rhythm of life. In March 2018 we began our trial Workaway volunteer program. It was a huge success; a wonderful experiment and learning-curve that convinced us that welcoming volunteers will be a vital part of the life here. A vessel for mutual learning; the chance for everyone to feel valued and empowered in their specific skills and contribution to a greater whole; spiritual development through participation in the day-to-day rhythm of the community's rule of life and meditation. We feel very grateful to have lived and worked alongside such amazing people, all so generous and open-hearted in participating and contributing to what we are building here.

    The renovation of The Abbaye was completed in Easter 2019, which is now inhabited by an evolving residential community. Two other buildings are renovated in a wonderful place for meditation and a guesthouse with 24 rooms. Our Volunteer Programme started in 2020. We are inviting members of the Workaway network to apply for volunteer opportunities from 10th January through the end of the year. The requirement is five hours of work each week day in exchange for board and lodging, and that volunteers join in with the life of the community for meditation and meal times.

    The continuing renovations on the farm buildings, all undertaken by professional contractors, will eventually include a 'contemplative village', consisting of small individual hermitages for people to enter deeper silence in their practice. During the last years we have created a varied online program for all aspects of contemplative practice; retreats and courses in various disciplines are running inspired by the practice of meditation rooted in the Christian tradition. More recently this has evolved into in-person retreats hosted by the community and volunteers. Our vision is to build a space inclusive to practitioners, seekers and pilgrims from all spiritual traditions (or none) to help to make the world more peaceful.

  • Arten von Hilfe und Lernmöglichkeiten

    Arten von Hilfe und Lernmöglichkeiten

    Karitative Arbeit
    Hilfe bei Ökoprojekten
    Betreuung von Tieren
    Zubereiten / Kochen von Mahlzeiten für die Familie
    Handwerkliche Arbeiten
    Hilfe mit Computer /Internet

  • UNO-Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung, die dieser Gastgeber verfolgt

    UNO-Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung, die dieser Gastgeber verfolgt

    Keine Armut
    Kein Hunger
    Gesundheit und Wohlergehen
    Hochwertige Bildung
    Sauberes Wasser und Sanitärversorgung
    Bezahlbare und saubere Energie
    Menschenwürdige Arbeit und Wirtschaftswachstum
    Industrie, Innovation und Infrastruktur
    Weniger Ungleichheiten
    Nachhaltige Städte und Gemeinden
    Nachhaltige Konsum- und Produktionsmuster sicherstellen
    Maßnahmen zum Klimaschutz
    Leben unter Wasser
    Leben an Land
    Frieden, Gerechtigkeit und starke Institutionen
    Partnerschaften zur Erreichung der Ziele
  • Kultureller Austausch und Lernmöglichkeiten

    Kultureller Austausch und Lernmöglichkeiten

    Volunteers will have the opportunity to learn about gardening, land management, house-keeping, cooking, living and working with others from diverse backgrounds and different cultures, meditation and spiritual writings from Christian and other traditions.

  • Arbeit


    Following the current Covid stipulations in France, We are happy to welcome into the community life guests and visitors who are vaccinated. We also ask for a negative Covid test before or when you arrive. If you are not vaccinated you are welcome to join in the meditation times and outside activities while respecting the usual protocols to protect yourself and others. If you have special circumstances please let us know.

    Please note that stays of a month or more is preferable / desirable but we will consider volunteers for periods of a minimum of 2 weeks. Unfortunately we do not currently accommodate families.

    Type of help needed

    Creating and maintaining a vegetable garden
    Forest clearance and fencing
    Managing wood collection for fires
    Basic building maintenance work (under supervision)
    Cooking / shopping for the community (not guests)
    Cleaning of communal spaces
    Animal care
    Small admin tasks
    Filming online events and retreats

    We are looking for people who enjoy living on the land in quiet countryside and are willing to offer a flexible open-minded approach to doing what needs to be done, as well as participate in the day-to-day rhythm of meditation and meal times. A space to be in relationship with other whilst exploring the nourishment of silence and solitude is at the heart of life here. We aim to encourage varying levels of silence as part of the every day life here and with the support of the community and resident teacher this is an opportunity to discover or deepen your own spiritual practice.

    Typical Daily Rhythm (please note this is adjustable with the change of seasons)

    Sunday to Saturday

    7.00 – 7:30 - Silent meditation (optional)
    7.45 – 8.35 - Morning meditation
    8.40 – 9.15 - Breakfast in silence
    9.30 – 10.00 - Study / Reading / group sharing (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday - Saturday)
    10.00 – 12.00 - Work
    12.15 – 13.00 - Midday meditation
    13.00 – 14.00 - Lunch / Clean-up
    14.30 – 17.00 - Work
    18.00 – 18.45 - Evening meditation
    18.50 – 19.30 - Dinner

    Wednesdays are days of no work, a chance to rest, be creative or in silence, walk, visit the local area.

    Saturdays are the same as weekdays except there are no meetings.

    Sundays generally start later, another day of rest – no work and no meetings.

    Unified Consciousness: One Mind One heart our theme 2022. During this year we will be bringing people together from around the world to reflect on the meaning of the oneness for themselves and for the planet. It will help them to emerge from the isolation and fear of Covid into a new engagement with reality and potential.

    The experience of unity among each other enjoying their diversity is an important part of the experience. Just as peace needs to be found within us before we can live peacefully in our personal lives and bring it to the world, so the spring of inner joy needs to be unblocked and set to flow. The daily schedule will focus on allowing this to happen freely.

    Practical projects for 2022 include:

    - Support with the organisation of communal spaces in the newly-inhabited Abbaye and meditation centre.

    - Ongoing planting and maintenance of the vegetable and flower garden.

    Living with Covid - because people like yourselves come from different countries around Europe we live by a Covid protocol that looks to ensure everyone's safety and prevention of complaints of negligence. This protocol generally involves taking of temperature each day and extra care around hygiene. If your application is agreed we will send you a simple document to agree to and sign.

  • Gesprochene Sprachen

    Englisch: Fließend
    Spanisch: Fließend
    Französisch: Fließend
    Italienisch: Fließend
    Niederländisch: Fließend
    Deutsch: Gute Kenntnisse

  • Unterkunft


    Workaways are accommodated in bedrooms in the newly renovated Abbaye. During summer months there will also be accommodation in the characterful Gate House. Volunteers will be invited to share in the cooking of meals in the community kitchen, which will be eaten in the dining hall with community residents. Volunteers are invited to join the community for lunch and dinner every day, consisting of a blend of international cuisine, where we will accommodate as far as possible any special dietary requirements. They also have the option of self-catering for breakfast and evening meals when staying in the Gate House. The Abbaye building provides a good WiFi connection and there is an excellent mobile data 4G signal at the Gate House and elsewhere.

  • Was noch ...

    Was noch ...

    Our place is situated amidst beautiful countryside for walking and many places of historic and cultural interest. The nearest village is Marçay, 2 kilometres away and situated along the route Jacque de Compostella, which is a section of the known Santiago de Compostella. the village has a tabac, bar and bread shop. The nearest market town is Vivonne with supermarkets and other facilities. The ancient Abbey of St Martins at Ligugé is 6 kilometres to the north. Fifteen kilometers away the medieval city of Poitiers (which has an airport Biard along with local and TGV train links from Paris) boasts one of the most significant gothic cathedrals in France. Further afield there is also the cities of Tours and Saintes and the coastal town of La Rochelle.

    When making travel arrangements to our place please note we plan arrivals and departure to allow you as volunteers to settle into the life here with minimum disruption for the life of the resident community. So following your registration and interview, please arrange your travel accordingly. We can arrange pick-ups from Vivonne train station (regional line from Poitiers). Pick up from Poitiers main line station or airport is also possible.

  • Etwas mehr Information

    Etwas mehr Information

    • Internet Zugang

    • Eingeschränkter Internet Zugang

      Eingeschränkter Internet Zugang

    • Wir besitzen Tiere

    • Wir sind Raucher

    • Familien möglich

  • Kapazität - wie viele Workawayer maximal

    Kapazität - wie viele Workawayer maximal

    mehr als zwei

  • ...


    Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week

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Korrekte Angaben im Profil: (5.0)

Kultureller Austausch: (5.0)

Kommunikation: (4.8)

Gastgeber Ref-Nr.: 133783777754