Friday 28 January 2011

Windsor Hill Wood

I was pointed towards this example by Simon Cross, author of 'Totally Devoted' a book about New Monasticism in Britain.

Windsor Hill Wood seems Tolstoyan to me: they found a woodland in an abandoned quarry which they have bought and now live in. They are inspired by the Pilsdon Community and use permaculture and woodcraft. They have chosen the Sermon on the Mount as their inspiration and labour and rest as their means.

From here they live, partly sustained in mutuality with the ecosystem. From here they offer hospitality to those who come and a taste of stability to those still travelling. They offer a place of choices have been made instead of fawned over; or as they put it:

"Choice – that once seemed empowering – has made us powerless. It has made us sad and rootless, prone always to want to keep our options open."

The setting is stunning but behind the romanticism their must be a harsh reality in the isolation and precacity of living. They're a conventionally shaped family in an unconventional life: Tobias Jones, who writes on behalf of the community has written a series of articles for the Observer.