Following our momentous announcement on Wednesday 26 July, we have some FAQs here that may help answer your questions.
Update 13 September 2023:
Dear Community of Light,
Bookings have now come to a close, marking the final chapter of workshops within the Findhorn Foundation’s current configuration. The last workshop is scheduled to conclude on September 22, 2023.
The encouraging news is that the community, businesses, the Universal Hall and the visitor’s centre at Ecovillage Findhorn at The Park are flourishing.
Erraid isle community, our semi-autonomous satellite centre is still welcoming guests for retreats and ‘Work is Love in Action’ weeks. You can contact them directly [email protected] or visit their website.
At the Findhorn Foundation, we are actively engaged in planning for the future, dedicated to discovering new avenues to fulfil our mission.
For additional information and insights, please refer to our Original Media Statement, which offers the background story.
In this moment of transition, we express our profound gratitude to all who have been co-creators of the Foundation’s journey. You are the heartbeat of our community, and your contributions, whether as volunteers, colleagues, donors, supporters, Resource People, Fellows, workshop and course facilitators, or participants, have been instrumental in co-creating a global transformative learning centre. Your impact has left an indelible mark in the hearts of everyone touched by the Findhorn Foundation’s work.
As we navigate this transformative passage, we carry your energy, love, and dedication with us. Together, we’ve built something extraordinary, and even as we reshape our future, the essence of the Findhorn Foundation lives on within us all.
With heartfelt gratitude and warm regards,
From all of us at the Findhorn Foundation
Update 6 September 2023:
It’s with a heavy heart that we share the news of the tough decision, that – after 50 years as a transformative learning centre – we are winding down the Findhorn Foundation’s activities.
As we couldn’t find a viable alternative to our current configuration during our 30-day collective consultation, we’ll wrap up our educational programmes on 22nd September 2023, and wind down our current operations on 1st October, resulting in 46 job losses. We’re holding on to four key roles and creating seven new ones that align with our restructuring plans, which in the interim future won’t include hosting guests.
This past week, we broke the news to our coworkers and shared the results of the redundancy consultation. Even though we’re hosting programmes until 22nd September, we’re actively planning for the future, committed to keeping our mission alive.
We want to express our gratitude to our amazing community, our volunteers, coworkers, donors and supporters – and of course our incredible participants. All of you have been co-creators of this transformative learning centre thats spans the globe and lives in the heart of everyone who has been touched by the work of the Findhorn Foundation.
The good news is that the community, businesses, and the visitors’ centre at Ecovillage Findhorn at The Park are thriving and that we’re actively planning for the future, determined to find new ways to serve our mission.
As our chair of Trustees, Mark Anderson, said in our Media Statement on 26 July:
“Although we do not believe there is a viable way forward in our current configuration, we do not see this as the end of our vision and mission. After reviewing and restructuring education activities, and subject to appropriate approvals and regulatory oversight, we hope that the new SCIO can emerge next year with a new way forward which will be both financially viable and have significant impact and public benefit in the world.”
Your support means the world to us during this challenging transition.
Workshop & Course Bookings
The Findhorn Foundation will pause educational programmes beyond 22nd September. We have removed all workshop listings beyond 22nd September 2023 from our website, and will contact any participants who have already booked. Our bookings department shall be liaising with all participants to arrange a full refund.
This is something we are looking into.
Transformation Game Facilitators Training will be held in the Park Ecovillage between 7th and 20th October this year, independently from the Foundation.
If you are interested in joining this intensive training, please inquire now via email at [email protected]
All education programmes (workshops, retreats and experience weeks) will run until September 22nd. The Findhorn Foundation will pause operations at that point and no longer offer education programmes.
All education programmes online, in Cluny and The Park (workshops, retreats and Experience Weeks) will run until September 22nd. The Findhorn Foundation will pause operations at that point as part of a restructuring process.
All education programmes online, in Cluny and The Park (workshops, retreats and Experience Weeks) will run until 22 September 2022. The Findhorn Foundation will pause operations on that day.
The Findhorn Foundation has paused educational programmes beyond 22nd September, 2023 and removed any workshop listings after that date.
The Park Ecovillage
Yes, The Park Ecovillage is still very much alive and vibrant. The Visitor Centre is open and, run by the New Findhorn Association, offers Park Tours. People are welcome to visit The Park Ecovillage, the Original Garden and all the amazing history that has been built over the last 60 years.
The cafe and the shop are individual organisations and are not part of the Findhorn Foundation, therefore are unaffected by the changes. You are welcome and encouraged to visit, anytime.
Universal Hall Promotions is a separate organisation which run shows and manages bookings for this venue. You are welcome and encouraged to continue enjoying the events they host there.
The Park Ecovillage and community continue. All organisations in The Park Ecovillage are independent organisations and therefore are not affected by the proposed Findhorn Foundation changes.
There should not be a significant detrimental impact, as most of their trade is primarily local. The Findhorn Foundation hosting fewer guests may have a marginal negative effect.
There will be an opportunity to visit the The Park Ecovillage independently of the Findhorn Foundation, and Foundation accommodation will be able to be booked through NFD (New Findhorn Directions), which is the trading subsidiary of the Findhorn Foundation.
All education programmes in Cluny and The Park (workshops, retreats and Experience Weeks) will run until September 22nd. The Findhorn Foundation will pause operations at that point while we restructures and find new ways to serve our mission.
It is too early to make a decision on this. We are still evaluating what the future needs may be depending on what emerges into the SCIO. What we do know is that Cluny is expensive to operate, needs significant investment to bring its accommodation up to date and has significant deferred maintenance. All of which will have to be taken into consideration around its viability.
We are open to all ideas around the future of Cluny, including what may emerge in the SCIO. Right now, it is too early to engage in the process as we are focused on the staff and volunteers who work and live there and how we will best support them through the transition.
Iona & Erraid
The Foundation proposes to end educational operations by the end of the day on September 22, 2023. Iona retreats are in the same category as all other Foundation courses, workshops and retreats (education programmes).
Legacy & Spirit
YES! This decision was made after many attunements and guided by the Angel of Findhorn. The community and legacy that is in the ecovillage, our alumni, our network of light around the world filled with people who have been touched by the transformational field is still very alive and supported by the Angel of Findhorn.
The Foundation is pausing operations to reimagine how it can fulfil its mission and purpose in a way that is relevant to the current context and needs in the world. A future that is financially viable and sustainable.
We are not ending the vision and mission. We are pausing operations to find a viable and sustainable path forward.
All of our visitors, coworkers, members and participants in our short and long term spiritual education programmes over the decades carry the legacy and spirit forward.
The design for the new Sanctuary, which came out of a broad community process, has planning permission and we expect to receive a building warrant very soon.
The Foundation is currently in discussion with Park Ecovillage Trust (PET) about PET taking over the sanctuary project and owning it long-term. Once a formal agreement is reached, we expect that the Foundation will transfer all sanctuary restricted funds to PET, and that PET will contract Green Leaf Design & Build to build the sanctuary, hopefully for completion in 2024.
As of 31 August 2023, about £209,874 has been raised for the Sanctuary rebuild, of which about £42,294 has been spent, which leaves a remaining balance of £167, 580. In addition, although the old Park Sanctuary was uninsurable, in December 2021 the Foundation Trustees designated £70,000 towards the project.
We have not yet made progress towards the design of a new Community Centre as we consciously decided to focus first on the Sanctuary – the spiritual heart of our community.
In December 2021, Foundation Trustees designated the net proceeds from the insurance settlement (approximately £700k) towards the rebuild of the CC. During 2022, cash from this designation was needed to cover ongoing operational costs due to the severe loss of programme income following Covid. However, Trustees designated non-core assets which could be sold to allow this intent to be maintained.
Our present situation requires that we reassess what a future CC might be. Pre-Covid, the bulk of the running costs of the CC were funded by the 1000’s of Foundation guests who visited each year. We don’t yet know what may emerge for Findhorn Foundation SCIO, but it is unlikely that the SCIO will be hosting this number of guests at The Park in the next few years.
As we explore next steps for the SCIO over the coming months, we expect that the SCIO’s CC needs will become clearer and that together with broad local community input we hope to develop a plan which is appropriate for our collective needs and meets regulatory approval.
Concerns for Wellbeing
We hope that we can come together as a community, locally and globally, to create a process over the coming weeks which allows us to grieve for what is lost, celebrate what has been achieved over 50 years by the Foundation, and allows us individually and collectively hold all our feelings and explore what may be possible in the future. We will also be reaching out for help with this, and for ideas and input over the coming weeks as we work through the next steps.
Right now, our immediate focus is to support our staff and coworkers who are impacted by this announcement and so we ask that you hold them in your thoughts and meditations with compassion and kindness.
We are collectively thankful and grateful for all the messages of love, support and memories of your experiences at the Findhorn Foundation over the many years. We appreciate your kindness and patience with us at this difficult time as we work through your questions and explore next steps as individuals and as a collective.
Financial & Legal Practicalities
Brexit has had a significant impact on the Foundation. That impact includes the visa requirements for programme facilitators, staff and volunteers as well as funding. Brexit is, however, not the only reason. Covid had a major financial impact. The fires that took away our Sanctuary and our Community Centre made it very difficult to hold experiences and guests at The Park.
As a charity, The Foundation can’t be sold. The Foundation, in collaboration with our local community, will be selling non-core assets and also investigating what might be possible in order to carry on our vision and mission in a different format, under a different structure, in the future. The vision and mission of the Foundation when it started is still as relevant today as it was at the beginning.
We are grateful for donations to help support the Foundation in these difficult times and to support finding a bridge to deliver our charitable purpose in the future. The model we have been operating under for the last few decades is simply not sustainable, even with significant support and so we must pause and see what can emerge in the future.
The Findhorn Foundation will enter a consultation period with coworkers, volunteers and the board of trustees next week to explore next steps collectively.