Beech Grove Community • Nonington, Kent

Contact Information

Beech Grove
Forest Drive
Nonington
Kent CT15 4FB
United Kingdom
Tel:  01304 842 980
Email:  beechgrove@bruderhof.com

Established: 1995

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About Us:
Beech Grove is similar to other large Bruderhof settlements, made up of a lively mix of families and singles, young and old, who live, work, and worship together. Bruderhof children attend our primary school, and adults work within the settlement, including in a workshop for Community Playthings – one of the Bruderhof’s businesses. As part of our community we run the Beech Grove Academy, a school for about fifty secondary students from all the English Bruderhof locations.

Setting:
Our property in southeastern England is a former sports college, adapted and expanded to include apartment buildings, a dining hall, a primary school, and a workshop. We are located in the Kentish North Downs, an area of gently rolling chalk hills and valleys, farmland, meadows, and woodlands. We are halfway between the historic town of Canterbury and the white cliffs of Dover and are just sixteen kilometers from both the North Sea and the English Channel.

Connecting with Neighbours:
We welcome friends and neighbours to our communal dinners most Saturdays. We also host seasonal events open to the public. Local primary schools visit us to enjoy hayrides, crafts, and garden activities. You can find our Bruderhof members driving horse carts for local fairs and events. Our members also support and volunteer at local food banks, and our students visit with residents at care homes in the area. We value contact with our neighbours and often participate in local events.

Point of Interest:
Beech Grove is known historically as the St. Albans Court Manor. Recorded residence on this site goes back over one thousand years. The property includes a Grade I listed Victorian manor and a medieval thatched cottage.

Several current residents describe life at the Beech Grove Bruderhof:
Lakeesha Blough

Lakeesha: Beech Grove has been my home for over ten years. I love its location amidst the vast grain fields of Kent, the wide horizons, and a far-reaching sky. Yet even more important are the daily encounters that I have through living together in Christian community with adults, young people, and children. Located between the Dover port and city of Canterbury, our intentional community receives a steady flow of visitors and has many opportunities to participate in local events ranging from Food Bank distribution to orchestral concerts. I teach English and Chemistry to sixteen- and seventeen-year-old students at our Academy. I love my work since no two days are alike; in fact, being with teenagers is analogous to the coming of spring: there are days of quiet restlessness, moments of unexpected vibrancy, and always life!

David Mow

David: I am a sixty-two-year-old grandfather who has lived on eight different Bruderhof communities since my parents came as guests to the first American community. A year ago my wife, Louisa, and I returned to Beech Grove after serving for seven years in a small urban Christian community of university students in London. Beech Grove is a former sports college converted into a thriving intentional community in the beautiful English countryside. We live together and work together on our farmland, in our wood workshop, and in our schools. Our location has easy access to the seaports and beyond to Europe and is just an hour from the great international connecting point of London.

Ann Morrissey

Ann: My husband, David, and I live at Beech Grove, a Christian community in rural Kent, England. One of our community buildings is an imposing nineteenth century Victorian manor house designed by George Devey, which serves as an Academy for our secondary school students. Most communal dwellings were built earlier in the twentieth century for a Physical Education College, so they are square, sturdy, and bring us a steady stream of alumni who enjoy appreciate seeing what their college has become. Our newly built houses are beautifully serviceable and filled with families who each live in their own apartment while sharing cooking facilities. As non-retired grandparents, our best moments of the day occur after working hours when neighbour children trot down the hall to our home to play games with us or to occupy themselves with our wooden blocks and well-worn trucks.

Toby Kleiner

Toby: My wife, Ashlie, and I are parents of two boys and twin girls. I work as an electrician, maintaining the buildings and equipment at Beech Grove, an intentional Christian community. I enjoy the weekends with our kids. There is time for play but it also gives us time to try to pass on good work ethic to them – mostly through fun projects that we do together. For example, we get calves for the kids to bottle feed and raise and we do a family garden every year, which is lots of hard work but it allows the kids to take the produce around to friends and neighbours during harvest time. Sunday evenings are always vibrant in our house because that’s “Games Night” and that gets the kids firing on all cylinders with excitement.