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Working at Gaia House


Current Vacancies

Kitchen Coordinator (Residential)
Finance Manager – Part Time (Non-residential)
Finance Assistant – Part Time (Non-residential)
Communications Manager – Part Time (Non-residential)

Residential  Kitchen Coordinator

We are looking to recruit a Kitchen Coordinator to join our residential team, please download an application pack below and if you have any queries please email our HR Manager on ku.oc.esuohaiagnull@nimda. Please make sure you have read all the information at the bottom of this page entitled working as a coordinator before you apply.

Deadline for applications is 15th January 2015
Provisional Tryouts will take place in Feb/March 2015
Provisional start will be sometime in May 2015

Application pack:


Non-residential staff positions

We are currently recruiting for the following non-residential staff positions.

Gaia House is a silent retreat centre and as such is a unique and tranquil place to work. It is situated in a rural location so availability of personal transport would be necessary. Any interested applicants should have a look at the information here on the website and take time to understand what we offer.

The running of Gaia House involves a hard working team of 25 residential and non-residential staff who are committed to a shared ethos of working together as a team.

Finance Department Opportunities

Gaia House Trust is seeking to recruit 2 key positions for its busy Finance Team, a Finance Manager and a Finance Assistant.

These posts are critical to the management and effectiveness of our financial and booking systems.  We are looking for people with sound financial experience who would like to work with an organisation that is committed to supporting people’s wellbeing and working within a clear ethical framework.

Finance Manager – Part Time
The purpose of the role is to ensure that Gaia House fulfils its legal and statutory financial obligations as a not for profit charity and limited company.  You will be a member of the management team and must be able to convey financial information to all staff in a way that enables them to understand and contribute to the smooth running of Gaia House finances.

The Finance Manager is responsible for advising and informing the Co-Directors, Board of Trustees and other staff as necessary on all aspects on Gaia House’s financial activities.  This is a key role which includes working closely with the Trust’s Co-Directors, Financial Adviser and its Auditors in producing annual accounts and returns.  You will also be responsible for managing and supervising two part-time finance assistants.

This is a part-time role 28/30 hours per week, worked flexibly with a salary of £25,189pa pro rata.

If you would like to apply for this position please download the Finance Manager Job Description and  Finance Manager Application Form.

Finance Assistant – Part Time
The Finance Assistant is one of 2 assistants in the Finance Department

The purpose of this role is to assist in the maintenance and support of Gaia Houses’ financial processes and systems.  You will be primarily responsible for the preparation and entry of data into our QuickBooks system as well as all relevant invoices and payments in preparation for the monthly accounts.

This is a part-time role 30 hours per week, worked flexibly with a salary of £19,222pa pro rata.

If you would like to apply for this position please download the Finance Assistant job description and Finance Assistant Application Form.

Please note – application forms must be completed in full as CVs will not be accepted.

If you have any questions about either of these positions you are welcome to email to our HR Manager, Sarah Abdy on ku.oc.esuohaiagnull@nimda who will be happy to help.
Application closing date for both positions is – 12noon Monday 26th January 2015

Interviews will be held at Gaia House and the dates are as follows:

Finance Manager – Thursday 12th February 2015
Finance Assistant – Tuesday 24th February 2015

Communications Manager – Part Time

The purpose of this role is to ensure Gaia House has an effective communications strategy which enables it to meet its charitable aims. You will have responsibility for communicating the key messages and activities of the organisation to our existing community and engaging with new audiences. You will also oversee the organisation’s IT infrastructure and digital and paper communications so we are looking for someone who will bring creative ideas to the development of this department.

You will have responsibility for managing a small team consisting of our IT Communications Officer and an Admin Assistant who has responsibility for our audio productions.

This is a part-time role 28 hours per week, worked flexibly with a salary of £23,265pa pro rata.

If you would like to apply please please download the Communications Manager Job Description and Communications Manager Application Form.

Please note – application forms must be completed in full as CVs will not be accepted. If you have any questions you can direct these via email to our HR Manager, Sarah Abdy on ku.oc.esuohaiagnull@nimda who will be happy to help.

The application closing date for this position is 12 noon on Monday 9th February 2015
Interviews will be held on Friday 6th March at Gaia House.


Working as a Coordinator

About working as part of the residential Coordinator Team at Gaia House.

The Role of Coordinator

Working at Gaia House is an opportunity to explore mindfulness, service and meditation within the framework of daily life.

Our Residential Coordinators are the bedrock of Gaia House, they:

  • Manage the retreats
  • Look after the retreatants
  • Do much of the retreat administration
  • Maintain the building and grounds
  • Cook the wonderful food (growing some of it as well!).

The Residential Coordinators live at Gaia House during their period of service. They take on a position in one of the departments: Kitchen, Household, Garden, Maintenance and Reception; and commit to a 12-24 month period of service.

The service given by our team of Coordinators makes it possible for all those who come to Gaia House to benefit from the silence and teachings, but being a residential Coordinator is very different from being on silent retreat. This role is an intensive learning and growing experience, and demands a strong commitment. Life as a Coordinator can be peaceful, bringing joy, friendship, meditation and support, but it can also bring hard work and solitude.

The Qualities of a Coordinator

The role of Coordinator at Gaia House requires a serious commitment of one’s time and energy. We ask that Coordinators consider carefully their motivation and interest in taking on this role at Gaia House.

Some of the important qualities, experience and expectations of a Coordinator at Gaia House are:

  • a sincere interest in the exploration of meditation and bringing meditation and mindfulness to all activities of daily life.
  • an interest in service and community living, including the ability to interact cooperatively with others.
  • a commitment to live by the Five Precepts as a foundation for practice:

The Five Precepts:

  1. A non-harming relationship with all living beings.
  2. Only to take that which is clearly given.
  3. Not to engage in harmful speech.
  4. To refrain from harmful sexual conduct.
  5. To refrain from the intake of drugs, cigarettes and alcohol while at Gaia House.
  • to have completed at least a minimum week long silent meditation retreat at Gaia House – other silent meditation retreat experience will be considered.
  • a commitment to a regular meditation practice – usually sitting for a minimum of one session each day – all Coordinators are also encouraged to sit together when possible.
  • a commitment to making Gaia House their first priority during their period of service. Opportunities for participating in courses and activities outside Gaia House are limited – long term training courses or other commitments cannot be accommodated within the rota system and work requirements.
  • a commitment to being responsible for the smooth running of the house and the implementation of the policies set down by Gaia House Trust
  • adherence to the Gaia House Code of Conduct.

The Work


The day-to-day running of the house is the responsibility of the Coordinators, who are primarily responsible for the welfare of retreatants. At times the needs of the house may require long hours, but Coordinators are generally expected to work between 6 and 8 hours a day. A Coordinator works within a tightly-knit team and is expected to attend and contribute to regular meetings with other staff members. Coordinators work in conjunction with the team of non-residential staff employed by Gaia House Trust, who manage the organisation, looking after finances, admin etc. under the guidance of the Director.

As well as sharing responsibilities for the day-to-day running of the house and the welfare of retreatants, each Coordinator usually cooks about twice a month. Each Coordinator has a particular area of responsibility, and below is a guide to these specific roles:

  • Kitchen (2 Coordinators): The Kitchen Coordinators provide retreatants, other Coordinators, staff and guests with nourishing and wholesome vegetarian meals, and have the responsibility of ordering kitchen supplies. Kitchen Coordinators organise, oversee and supervise work retreatants assigned to the kitchen. The ability to work within a budget is needed. The Administration Manager supervises both Kitchen Coordinators.
  • Household (2 Coordinators): The Household Coordinators are responsible for the preparation and allocation of rooms for retreatants, laundry, and the cleanliness and appearance of the house. Household Coordinators organise, oversee and supervise work retreatants assigned to Household. They cook on 1- 2 days each month. The HR & Admin Manager supervises both Household Coordinators.
  • Maintenance (1 Coordinator): The Maintenance Coordinator is responsible for small repairs and minor alterations associated with building, vehicles & equipment, and for the disposal of household waste & recyclable materials. The scale of projects undertaken depends on the skills the Coordinator brings to the work. For larger or more complex work the Maintenance Coordinator is supported by the Buildings & Maintenance Manager and outside professional contractors. The Maintenance Coordinator organises, oversees and supervises work retreatants assigned to Maintenance. He or she cooks on 1- 2 days each month. The Maintenance Manager supervises this position.
  • Garden (1 Coordinator): The Garden Coordinator is responsible for running the organic vegetable garden and for the maintenance of the ornamental gardens, lawns, hedges and wooded areas. The Garden Coordinator organises, oversees and supervises gardening work retreatants. He or she cooks on 1- 2 days each month. The Garden Coordinator is supervised by the Maintenance Manager.
  • Reception (2 Coordinators): The Reception Coordinators are responsible for the administration of reception and booking at Gaia House. This includes responding to post, telephone & e-mail enquiries, taking retreat bookings, preparing information for retreat registration and making information available. Reception Coordinators take bookings on the computerised database, issue confirmations and keep all wall charts up to date. Other responsibilities include maintaining the book library (including ordering of books for resale) and dealing with Dana (donations) and payments as necessary. Reception Coordinators cook at least once per month and occasionally support Household. Both Reception Coordinators are supervised by the HR & Administration Manager.

The Environment

Gaia House is a listed building (previously a convent) situated deep in rural South Devon. It has several acres of secluded mature gardens with views of Dartmoor and the surrounding countryside. All Coordinators have private rooms within the house, and share a communal staff living room.

It is one mile from the village of Denbury and four miles from Newton Abbot. There is no public transport, so we try to have at least 4 current Coordinators who hold a current UK driving licence. Any non-drivers thinking of applying to work here, should bear in mind the relative isolation of the house and the recognised importance of being able to ‘get away’ during days off.

We have a car which Coordinators may borrow for private use when it is not needed for House business. A small charge per mile is made for private usage.

Benefits and Time Off

Coordinators receive board and lodging plus a small monthly stipend. They also receive a share of any donations (Dana) given specifically for Coordinators.

New Coordinators may take one week’s Silent Retreat before beginning their period of work if the change over time allows. This can only be taken before the handover and general induction begins and cannot be carried forward or taken later in the period of service.

During every 3-month period there is a rota allowing for differing amounts of days off and time on retreat each month. The allocation of this time is agreed between the group, each month being identified as either A, B, or C as follows:

  • Month A: 8 days off, 2 retreat days.
  • Month B: 6 days off, 7 retreat days.
  • Month C: 11 days off, 2 retreat days.


Coordinators may have visitors, generally for up to a maximum of three nights stay at any one time. Longer stays may be possible with the agreement of the other members of the group and depending upon availability of accommodation. Guests are asked to contribute a small amount for each night stayed. Visitors must be sensitive to the needs of the house and the people within it.

Support for Coordinators

A support package is provided for Coordinators, consisting of a weekly 90-minute facilitated group meeting with the other Coordinators, and a fortnightly meeting with one of the Gaia House teachers. A regular study class is also held.

The weekly group meeting and fortnightly meetings with a teacher are considered an essential part of maintaining the well being of the residential community at Gaia House and attendance is obligatory. A commitment to participation in the study class is expected. The issues discussed in these classes are often directly related to life in the house and attendance is recommended.

Gaia House vegetable garden

Questions to Consider before Applying

  • Practice: Are you committed to bringing the qualities of awareness, inquiry and compassion into your life, work and relationships?
  • Service: Are you willing to give your time and energy in service to others? Residential Coordinators need to be flexible and open and be able to work in an environment that may at times be stressful. The quality of service given by Coordinators is vital to creating a safe environment for all those who come to practice at Gaia House.
  • Community: What can be gained by living and working closely with others, especially those who share a commitment to inquiry and meditation? Are you willing to take part in the communication required, to speak truthfully, to listen and make space for others?

Applying to become a Coordinator

If you apply to become a coordinator and have submitted your application form, depending on your suitability and our requirements, you may be invited to participate in a 6 day ‘try-out’ period. We usually invite two people to try out for each position.

This is an informal opportunity to meet the staff team and teachers and to explore whether offering service to Gaia House feels appropriate for you at this time.

Coordinators are asked to make a minimum commitment of 12 months, up to a maximum of 2 years. This supports continuity and stability in the house. Extensions may be possible if this is appropriate to the needs of the House and all those involved.

We are currently unable to make applications for UK work visas for coordinators. It is therefore a requirement that if you are applying for a coordinator position you are eligible to work in the UK.

Offering a gift of service to Gaia House can be deeply rewarding and enjoyable.

Meet the Staff Team