The Friary at Hilfield is part of the Society of St Francis, an Anglican Franciscan Religious Order. They are followers of Jesus Christ after the manner of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology. Established in 1921 in Dorset on the edge of the Dorset Downs and overlooking the Blackmore Vale, it provided refuge and rehabilitation for homeless men. Today, six Franciscan brothers form the core of a larger community who work on the Friary land - 19 acres of wildflower meadows and woodlands which have been designated as Special Nature Conservation Interest - and who offer hospitality to people of diverse backgrounds and needs. Each day is shaped by a pattern of prayer, meals together, work, reflection and recreation.

The aim of the Friary Community, drawing on the inspiration of St Francis of Assisi, is to grow in the knowledge and love of God, to learn to serve and nurture God's creation, and to seek peace, both among people and with every part of the created order.

A Rocha UK is in partnership with Hilfield Friary because we share many of the same aims in terms of caring for the land God created. Hilfield welcomes environmental interns, which is supported through A Rocha UK. Part of their 19 acres of land has been designated as a site of Special Nature Conservation Interest (SNCI).

Volunteers are always welcome, particularly those who can assist with grounds maintenance or gardening. There are walking trails, a meditative Canticle Garden (based on the Canticle of the Creatures written by St Francis), prayer four times a day, and several conservation programs, which anyone is very welcome to come and enjoy. For more information about Hilfield Friary or to arrange a visit, please visit their website or contact Lydia Reese via

Hilfield Friary are looking for new Volunteer Community Members with an interest in conservation and sustainable living.