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Life at Thornage Hall

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The Hall, built in 1482 is an impressive building overlooking the village of Thornage. A former grange of the Bishops of Norwich, the Hall and 70 acre estate was gifted to the Thornage Camphill Community East Anglia, by Lord Hastings in the 1980’s. Staff, volunteers and some of the first tenants helped to renovate the Hall to create the accommodation and convert the barn for communal use. Iceni house was built in the early 1990’s and Hawthorn was added in 2006. Thornage Hall was established as a Camphill Community in 1989.

The Mission at Thornage Hall is to strive together for the common good, working together for people and the environment. It works both within the community at Thornage as well as with wider communities and organisations in Norfolk in order to meet the needs of adults with learning disabilities and keep environmental sustainability at its heart.

The aim and vision is to create a community with opportunities for work, learning, and personal expression in an environmentally sustainable world where everyone can live, learn and work together in a meaningful way, regardless of ability or disability.

At the Hall, individual abilities and uniqueness are recognised and respected. Personal development, contentment and friendship are promoted, and there are opportunities to develop the social, spiritual, emotional and physical well-being of individuals as the foundation for a fulfilling life. People are supported to achieve their own aspirations and environmental sustainability is practiced and promoted.

Thornage Hall also runs a bio-dynamic farm which provides food for those living on site, as well as sales to local organic outlets. There are alpacas, whose fleece is used in the weaving workshop. Other workshops and activities are: farm and garden, woodwork, willow work, art and craft IT and cooking and baking.

As well as residents and staff attending our church services, I also officiate at a mid week evening service once a month. It’s an informal service and we use percussion instruments and the puppets Dave the Donkey and Oscar the camel accompany me. It is an amazing ministry! Everybody is welcome, regardless of religious belief. We believe that the values at Thornage Hall are those that have relevance to everyone whether or not they are interested in religion.

Thornage Hall has a holistic approach to care and support, and as well as the social aspects of people’s lives, the spiritual and cultural aspects of life continue to be important. The organisation is built upon Christian principles, but it doesn’t promote or impose any particular religion, and looks to incorporate celebrations from around the world in its activities.

The pictures show Dave the Donkey, Oscar the Camel and myself with residents of Thornage Hall. These lovely puppets have been on holiday from the Diocesan Office and have been visiting workshops and participating in worship.

They have proven to be very popular.