Our International Christian Community at Rydal Hall
is a key part of who we are and what we do.
By living, serving and learning together not only are new friendships formed and new skills learned, but an environment is created for guests that is truly valued and life changing.
A selection of the many comments we have received in our visitors’ book:
“People were duly amazed by the lovely bedrooms . . . the kitchen and dining room staff were so very helpful and caring producing excellent meals and fitting in with whatever plans we had.”
“I’ve had a lovely time and I will highly recommend Rydal to my friends. Thank you to the Community who must work very hard to make Rydal Hall such a special place. The staff are a happy and helpful team! And the ‘welcome’ was most welcome.”
“Both the Hall and the grounds were, for me, full of God’s presence and His peace, and this, to me was the very special thing that sets Rydal Hall apart from other conference centres I’ve stayed in.”
“The staff are all so kind and friendly – that makes a great difference.”
“Lovely atmosphere. Staff are really great – helpful and pleasant.”
So, if you want to join us in serving others and exploring the Christian faith in beautiful surroundings, then please contact us.
What is Rydal Hall?
Rydal Hall is the Diocesan Retreat and Conference Centre for the Diocese of Carlisle, part of the Church of England. The 34 acre estate comprises the hall, formal gardens, a campsite, youth centre, self-catering cottage and tea shop and is situated in beautiful surroundings. The main hall provides accommodation for up to 50 people.
Our vision is to:
- Provide a place of welcome and hospitality for both Christian and non-Christian groups and individuals.
- Promote and support the Christian faith in and beyond the Diocese.
- For our Christian ethos to underpin the way we work in partnership with local community and suppliers.
- For those living and working at Rydal Hall to grow and develop in their understanding of the Christian faith.
Who runs Rydal Hall?
The Rydal Hall team includes both long and short term resident members (called the Rydal Hall Community) along with other team members who live locally and travel in to Rydal Hall.
The Rydal Hall Community is made up of people of various nationalities and cultures from around the world, united in their desire to serve others and grow in their understanding of the Christian faith.
Where is Rydal Hall?
Rydal Hall is situated in Northern England, in the heart of the English Lake District, surrounded by stunning scenery, lakes and mountains. It is a rural area; the nearest small town is Ambleside which is a 30 minute walk or 5 minute car journey away.
How many community members are there?
There are up to 17 community members at any one time. Community members currently come from South Korea, Italy, Hungary, Australia, Uganda, Argentina, Pakistan and the UK.
What do community members do while they are here?
All community members commit themselves to serve for 37.5 hours per week in one or more of several teams. The teams include Accommodation Services (housekeeping), Food Service (serving in the dining room and washing up), Estates & Maintenance Team and serving in the Tea Shop. As part of their 37.5 hours work, volunteer community members (those coming from outside Europe), are given the opportunity to work in a local school for one day every two weeks to broaden their experience and develop friendships outside of Rydal Hall.
We would ask that community members attend daily chapel services where we have the opportunity to pray and worship together. There is also a weekly community night where we gather together to have fellowship and fun, study the Bible and discuss aspects of Christian teaching.
What do community members do in their free time?
Community members have an average of two days off per week. On-site there is a communal lounge with TV/DVD/Video & Play-station 2 and free internet access. There are beautiful grounds to explore. Off-site there are many walks with regular buses to other parts of the Lake District and nearby towns and cities. Ambleside, the nearest small town, has two cinemas, shops, tennis courts and plenty of pubs and cafes.
Community members can also have time off/holiday, either to relax at Rydal Hall or travel to other parts of the UK or Europe.
What about going to church?
Locally there are Anglican, Catholic, Baptist and United Reform churches. Where work duties allow you are welcome to attend any of these services.
Can I improve my English?
Yes, free weekly lessons are available for those who wish to improve their English; however this should not be your main reason for joining Rydal Hall. We do ask applicants to have a reasonable level of spoken English before they arrive – sufficient to be able to communicate with fellow team members and guests.
Where will I stay?
You will have your own room, with a shared bathroom and toilet.
Do I get paid?
Volunteers (those from outside Europe) receive free board and lodging plus a weekly allowance of £85.
Those from the UK & Europe are paid at the UK national minimum wage less a small deduction for board and lodging – please ask for further information.
When can I come and for how long?
Vacancies arise at various times of the year so please contact us for details of vacancies. We prefer people not to leave/arrive during the busy summer months. We ask all community members to commit for 12 months. Due to visa restrictions volunteers cannot stay longer than 12 months and must return home at the end of their time here.
How do I apply?
- Download the appropriate application form and brochure below – if you are from the UK/Europe download the ‘UK, Europe’ form and brochure. If you are from outside the UK/Europe download the ‘volunteer’ form and brochure. Return the forms by post, fax or e-mail – see contact details below.
- We will then write to your referees asking for references.
- Upon receipt of your references, we may ask those from the UK to spend a few days with us to give you and us time to discern if this is the right place for you. For those from outside the UK we will arrange to have an informal interview through Skype or telephone.
- If we then offer you a place on the community, those from outside Europe will need a certificate of sponsorship from us before applying for a UK entry visa.
Brochure – UK and Europe
Brochure – Volunteers from outside Europe
Application Form – UK and Europe
Application form – Volunteers from outside Europe
Placement details information – Volunteers from outside Europe
Need further information?
Please contact Mark Strand at:
Post: Rydal Hall, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 9LX
Telephone: (015394) 32050