History

Pilsdon Manor House, located 8 miles north of the West Dorset coast

Pilsdon Manor House, located 8 miles north of the West Dorset coast

For nearly six decades the Pilsdon Community has been a place of prayer, home and comfort, as well as a place of work and shared life for many hundreds of people. Since its foundation by Reverend Percy Smith, each day has been characterised by twenty-five or so people sharing meals, work and rest together. Experience has shown that by sharing in the life of the community a gentle healing and restoration takes place and as men and women share their life together in a spirit of equality and acceptance.

The Pilsdon Community is Anglican in foundation and ecumenical in expression. The community is based on the model set by Nicholas Ferrar, who in 1625 formed ‘Little Gidding’, the first Anglican community after Henry VIII’s dissolution of monasteries. Like Little Gidding, Pilsdon is set in a small hamlet and comprises a manor house, a small farm and a little church. The constant stream of guests to Little Gidding found there the ‘spirit of joy and serene peace’, a peace that continues today at Pilsdon, where the life of prayer, hospitality and manual work is maintained.

A recounting of the first twenty years of the Pilsdon Community can be read in Gaynor Smith’s book ‘Pilsdon Morning’ and is referred to in Tobias Jones’ ‘Utopian Dreams’.