Work, Worship, Study and Play

Othona Philosophy

This a framework of community articulated by Othona's founder, Norman Motley.


• Be wholehearted. Offer the best of yourself in service to the Community, undertaking daily tasks with compassion, grace, humour and patience.

• Recognise that many tasks in community are necessary and worthwhile, though not all are interesting or obviously enjoyable. Be honest about your preferences, but do the jobs you dislike without undue complaint. The quality of presence and care you bring to such tasks may even help you appreciate them in a new way.

• Simple shared work, whether with Core colleagues or others, is a powerful basis for improved relationship. When problems arise, look to solve them, if possible with any individual concerned, otherwise within the Core and Executive. All of us have strong and weak points; there are many opportunities to help each other and receive help.


• Remember that worship is not limited to corporate acts in Chapel. More and more of our life can be imbued with a sense of the sacred. Value your own spiritual experience in all its breadth and depth, but beware of treating other people's as less valid.

• Take your part in the rhythm of corporate worship at Othona, and look to develop skills and resources for it. In the Core and the wider Community we can support each other's spiritual growth by sharing ideas, insights and mutual encouragement. Experience shows some regular meditative or contemplative practice is especially helpful.

• Honour religious traditions with a respect for their core values and therefore a passion for their renewal/evolution to serve humanity's future. You will be mirroring the example of Jesus in whose name Othona is founded.


• The Othona programme offers many opportunities to deepen your knowledge and understanding. Make the most of these when other responsibilities allow. Within the Core particularly we should nurture each other in suitable training, as co-learners, teachers and facilitators.

• Try to be aware of what goes on beyond the confines of Othona, of how the world is changing. Be alert also to the hidden riches of life experience which all kinds of people bring when they visit. Sharing these resources at a level deeper than gossip can be every bit as educative as the news media or academic study.

• Bear in mind that even the most fascinating theological explorations, which Othona welcomes, have their limitations. Their only lasting fruit will be an orientation of the heart and a practical commitment in daily life. The key questions are "Am I open to being transformed? Am I ready for my part, however small, in transforming the world?"


• Make space in your life for fun and relaxation, with regular days off and holidays. To believe you are indispensable is a tempting trap! Core members sometimes need each other's encouragement to get adequate sleep and take appropriate exercise. To be fit and healthy in body is part of a wise integral approach to "life in all its fullness".

• As a Core member you may have private use of television and other media which visitors mainly do without at Othona. Enjoy them if you wish, as entertainment, communication and education, but be sensitive to those who make a different choice. Use electronic media judiciously, knowing they are a mixed blessing.

• Cherish the many moments when life in community flowers into laughter and spontaneity. As well as giving sheer joy, they help us not to take ourselves too seriously.

• An unforced playfulness in the context of work is a sure reminder of the Divine.