Braziers Park (School of Social and Integrative Research)

Wallingford, England, United Kingdom

  • Last updated: August 10, 2018 (2 seconds ago)
  • Listing created on: June 15, 2006

Mission Statement

evolution ecology education

Community Description

Braziers Park is a community, a residential college, and an architectural treasure hidden deep in the south Oxfordshire countryside. It was founded in 1950 as an educational trust, and is a continuing experiment in the advantages and problems of living in a group. Community members share responsibility for running the college and the estate.

“To make conscious the shape of the process of which we are a part, so that we may facilitate its development more efficiently.”

We keep pigs and oxen; we plant trees and vegetables; we live in the midst of beauty, and we eat well; we argue joyfully on good days; we argue pointlessly, and/or ignore each other on bad days. Lots of dreams and fantasies are stimulated here. There is always work to do…

About

  • Type(s): Commune (organized around sharing almost everything), Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability), Unspecified, or Other
  • Programs & Activities: School, Educational Institute or Experience, Volunteer, Internship, or Apprenticeship, WWOOF’ing, Guest Farming, Festivals, Conferences, Events
  • Location: Rural

Housing

  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 55 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Room(s) in a house or building, Mobile homes, RV’s, converted buses
  • Current Number of Residences: 2
  • Housing Provided: Rental, Work-exchange, Included in Membership
  • Land owned by: the Specially Authorised Friendly Society (the membership)
  • Additional Comments:

    A formal organisation with some overlap of membership

Membership

  • Adult Members: 15
  • Child Members: 1
  • Non-member Residents: 8
  • Percent Women: 41-49%
  • Percent Men: 51-60%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes, rarely
  • Visitor Process:

    Check our website for basic information, and email us. Please be clear in the way you wish to visit (i.e. residential volunteering [1-3 months], day visits, etc.)

  • Membership Process:

    There are two pathways to joining –
    1. Come as a residential volunteer for 1-3 months, if you feel you wish to join then, make an application for an available role.
    2. Apply as a resident applicant which entails the following process: – application; – 2-3 day invitation to stay; – community deliberation (decision on consensus); – 2 week visit; – community deliberation (decision on consensus); three month paid trial in role; – community deliberation (decision on consensus); – membership.

  • Additional Comments:

    No one path followed, and many practices are very low-key

Government

  • Decision Making: Modified Consensus (everyone agrees, with some exceptions or fallbacks.)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    We are split into two primary bodies that manage BPSISR – the Committee of Management, who are volunteers that manage the long-term issues of perpetuating the organisation. Secondly, the resident community or ‘SubEx'(ecutive) committee which consists of those who live & work within the community; we’re concerned with the day-to-month management of the community.

Economics

  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: No
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 28
  • Open to members with existing debt: Yes
  • Additional Comments:

    We work 20 paid hours, and 8 for the benefit of the community (unpaid).
    Most of this work is in our core roles (i.e. admin/kitchen/garden etc.)
    We make an hourly wage which then has deductions for our rent & food – at the end of the month, we receive approx. £180 (as of Jan 2018).

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Current renewable energy generation: Almost All, around 90%
  • Energy sources: Biomass, Clean Energy from the Grid
  • Planned renewable energy generation: 100%
  • Current food produced: Up to 25%
  • Planned food produced: Between 26-49%
  • Food produced locally: Between 26-49%

Lifestyle

  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Greenhouse(s), Vehicle Share, Library, Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Outdoor Kitchen, Large Scale Kitchen, Stage or Auditorium, Fire pit, Swingsets & play areas, Internet
  • Internet Available: Yes, both the community and individuals provide it
  • Internet Fast?: No, it is slow.
  • Cell Phone Service: Good for some people.
  • Shared meals: Approximately all meals
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), Mostly Vegan, Opportunivore (dumpster diving, nature harvesting, etc.), Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Additional Diet Comments:

    We primarily eat a vegetarian diet – most meals are vegan with GF options. Some members eat dairy/eggs, but these are usually optional to a vegan base-meal.
    Some people eat meat, not often a feature of communal meals, however.

  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Eclectic (integrates multiple religious or spiritual beliefs), Not a particularly spiritual or religious community, Paganism or Earth Religions, Although not a spiritual community, many members are and tend to lean toward earth-based spirituality (witches, pagans, shaman) or Buddhism. Christians are not uncommon either.
  • Spiritual Practice Expected?: No
  • Education Style(s): Public Schooling, Up to each family or individual
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual
  • Additional Comments:

    As we earn very little as residents, we do not pay taxes (unless undertaking more external work), and as such we are entitled to HS2 healthcare support from the UK govt. (prescriptions, dental etc. covered free of charge).

Photo Gallery

Video Gallery

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), Global Ecovillage Network (GEN), HelpX, DiggersAndDreamers

Keywords

Community, Glaister, Ecology, Festivals, Education, Oxfordshire, Friends, Barn