Southborough L'Abri


One of the helpful things about being at L'Abri is that the study and discussion are integrated into the "real daily life" of living with families and working at all kinds of practical tasks. God often seems to use this context as a place where people can begin to integrate their faith into all areas of life. This kind of integration is important in our increasingly compartmentalized modern life, and can be very freeing, but it may not be terribly glamorous.

A "Mountain top experience" is not our goal. You should not come expecting a secluded retreat environment. Instead we have tried to maintain the reality of a family setting in all the different L'Abri's. There are lots of mundane chores to be done, some perpetual disorganization and not enough space for students to have private rooms. You may find some of this difficult, but there is a reality to the environment that by the grace of God, many have found helpful.

The main L'Abri house is an old New England mansion on twenty-one acres of land. It is divided up into two private apartments which house four of the staff, rooms for many of the students and the library in which students study. One newer home houses additional staff and students. These homes make up the L'Abri community, and are where students live, study, work and share their meals with the workers. The workers at present include Dick and Mardi Keyes, Joe and Sue Morrell (with their sons Luke and Nate), Ben Keyes & Nickaela Fiore-Keyes, Mary Frances Giles and Joshua & Sarah Chestnut. 

All students are expected to study for four hours and work for four hours each day. The study is primarily drawn from recorded lectures from the various branches of L'Abri and from books in our library. One of us will sit down with you after your arrival to help you plan a direction of study that addresses your specific questions and needs. The work consists of whatever needs to be done at the moment to keep the branch going. Mealtimes are a time to get to know your fellow students and to discuss whatever you have on your mind, including questions from your studies. In addition there are a weekly lecture, Bible study and seminar, and as much individual time with the workers as possible.

Students are usually at least 18 years old. We now have limited accommodations for married couples (with or without an infant), but please make arrangements for this well in advance of a term.

We do not provide Internet access. There is however, a library in town that has e-mail facilities that students may use free of charge.

Students may come for any length of time up to a full "term." Our terms are usually between two and three months in length. There are periods between terms during which L'Abri is closed. See reservations for our open dates and costs.

You should not plan on having an outside job, touring the area (except on Thursdays, your day off), or leaving on weekends during your time with us. We will provide towels and bedding throughout your stay, and laundry is done weekly.

PLEASE NOTE that in all seasons some of the daily work is done outdoors, so bring plenty of old clothes and outdoor footwear. Informal clothes are virtually always appropriate here. Keep in mind that our homes are QUITE COOL most of the year, so bring plenty of layers for indoors and out. Plan to bring an alarm clock and a watch, as we will rely on you to keep to the daily schedule.

We have a pond behind the big house and there are some beautiful walks in the area, do feel free to bring your skates and cross-country skis in the winter months!

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