Work, Worship, Study and Play

Norman Motley, Founder of Othona

Norman Motley

Norman was an Anglican priest who originally worked in the parish of Spitalfields in East London. At the start of the Second World War, he became an RAF chaplain in a training centre in Blackpool and there started up what became know as 'Answer Back' meetings where young men and women of any denomination could come and ask questions and challenge the received wisdom of the day. These meetings gave people the freedom to explore the issues of pain, suffering and disunity. This fellowship in Blackpool led to the formation of the Nails movement, which had the emblem of four small nails welded together in the shape of a cross. After the end of the Second World War, Norman Motley set up the Othona Community in Bradwell-on-Sea in Essex starting from humble beginnings with a collection of tents and ageing army huts. He dreamed of establishing a brand new kind of community centre which offered more than the standard holiday experience. A place where all could come to gather and discuss questions about peace and reconciliation and how best to bring about positive change in the post-war era. Norman set up the centre under the mantra of work, worship, study and play with Norman being known to give lectures and encourage deep discussions on a variety of topics as well as making Othona somewhere to relax and enjoy community life together outdoors.


If you would like to learn more about Norman Motley, here are a couple of sources:

Books by Norman Motley

Books about Norman Motley