Work, Worship, Study and Play

Welcome to Othona Essex

A place of welcome and acceptance whoever you are and simple accommodation and good food at a low cost

Othona is an open and inclusive Community rooted in the Christian faith and drawing on a wealth of other inspirations. We welcome people of all ages, abilities, backgrounds and beliefs to our two centres on the quiet coasts of Essex and Dorset. Through sharing in a daily rhythm of work, learning, worship and play, we seek personal renewal and glimpses of the sacred. In community we explore the relationship between faith and life and encourage one another in caring for the world and its people.

From its beginning in 1946 as a summer camp in tents on the Essex marshes, Othona has been a meeting place for people from different countries and backgrounds. They came then and they come now – all the year round and not only in tents - to be refreshed, to take stock, to make friends over the shared chores, perhaps to learn something new, and to go across the field together to the ancient St Peter’s chapel looking out over the Blackwater estuary.

The community attracts anything between 10 and 100 people, depending on the theme and the season. At any given time there will be some who have been coming for years and others here for the first time. Especially in the summer the dining room echoes to the sound of many languages and children’s voices.
Othona has a special concern for living in harmony with nature – with wind turbine, solar panels, and eco-building and much else. The beauty of the natural world is all around – from a green woodpecker to an unpolluted starlit night sky.

If you're new to Othona?

We hope you'll enjoy finding your way round this site. Browse around Our Centre, FAQs, and Programme of events. Maybe we'll be seeing you? Try the Meet Us page.

If you're an old Othona friend but new to this website?

Mostly what you had on the old site is here, plus blogs and social media. More than that, this site adapts its screen views for tablets and mobiles. Navigation is better, with more visual content, fewer words.