An upward spiral of change
Change began in the 1980s, when redundant buildings on the Estate were converted into workspace to attract employment. The result was that working from the countryside finally became a valid commercial option as well as being a good lifestyle choice. Today the grounds host 52 companies, and around 700 people now work in the small rural parish of Broughton.
Employment brought an earthquake of change at a parish level; suddenly the pub was busier and could thrive, the school reopened, the milk round became sustainable and the church got busier. The spiral of change had a new direction and was now soaring upwards.
New enterprises kept appearing and a strong hospitality and holiday homes sector evolved. This meant historic architecture was restored, preserved and maintained; everybody was a winner.
Broughton’s sense of purpose was back and, true to its history, its raison d’être came with a high social output for the community.
Most recently, Roger and his partner, Paris Ackrill, have introduced a new layer of change that has caused Broughton to become a house of transformation. It hosts year-round retreats and work pertaining to the mind, body and spirit, with a focus on strong subject matter and life-changing work that can transform people and groups.
The refurbished buildings have created capacity for 100 guests at the Broughton Sanctuary, which is now complete with Avalon, a state-of-the-art Wellbeing Centre co-founded by Paris.
The world-class facilities include the Cosmic Garden, a woodland sauna, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a wild swimming spot, a fire temple, moon baths and a sweat lodge.
A nature recovery programme is also taking place at Broughton, where 230,000 trees have been planted this year alone. The tree-planting project is the largest of its kind in England. ‘The root of today’s environmental issues – and many of the current crises – is all about humanity’s inner nature’, Paris tells us, ‘so the outer nature is inevitably going to reflect this.’
William the Conqueror was the surprising initiator of a remarkable Sanctuary fit for the 21st century and beyond. What a journey through the centuries – but an extremely rich and worthwhile one that calls out to be experienced.