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Living Lightly at Hilfield

by Michael Ford last modified 06 Aug, 2018 10:43 AM

The Guardian of Hilfield Friary, Clark Berge, has spoken of the Franciscan community's eco-friendly approach to life, ahead of Creationtide 2018.

View a short video here.

He said, “We’ve been in the Diocese of Salisbury now for nearly 100 years - we’ll be celebrating our centennial in a few years’ time. Hilfield is dedicated to living out Franciscan spirituality and showing people - and inviting people - to live lightly on the Earth, to live in a reverent, careful way, and so we do a lot of manual work.

“We care for cows and pigs and sheep and chickens, and behind me you can see our vegetable garden. So we do a lot of work on the land and caring for endangered species, but the main thing is that we’re living out our Christian commitment, our Christian spirituality, pioneered by St Francis and his spirituality.

“We try to make that a reality in the Church of England and in this particular diocese. And so, we invite you all to come and to see it and experience it, Experience the life and the spirituality of St Francis in its English incarnation.”

Hilfield Friary partners with the Diocese of Salisbury to foster good practice and spread awareness of spiritual living, with emphases on prayer, practical community living, and concerns for justice, human dignity and the environment.

The Society of St Francis is an Anglican order of men and women inspired by the example of Francis of Assisi, and has communities throughout the world.

Franciscans arrived in Dorset in 1921 to establish a Friary as a home of refuge and rehabilitation for large numbers of displaced men in rural England. The men were welcomed, given dignity through shared work, and offered rehabilitation and training.

These days, Hilfield is a retreat centre, welcoming guests to Dorset and offering hospitality to people of diverse backgrounds and needs. Each day is shaped by a pattern of prayer, meals together, work, reflection and recreation.

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