L'Abri Fellowship first began in Switzerland in 1955 and has since expanded to other countries and locations. If you have read the L'Abri story by Edith Schaeffer you may have some idea of how L'Abri came to be and what it was like in the early days. Over the years the core purpose of L'Abri has remained the same, though if you have visited in the past or are familiar with the L'Abri story, it may be different now from what you have read or heard. It is still possible, however, to share in the life of an "extended family" as was the case when L'Abri first began.
You will find something different at each branch of L'Abri. This is influenced by the location, culture, individual workers, worker's families and the unique combination of personalities that make each branch what it is. Individual students also add to the variable dynamic of experiencing L'Abri.
Each branch is staffed by one or more L¹Abri families and single people, called "workers", who look after those who come and stay - "students". In addition to the residential work, L¹Abri workers are involved in conferences, public speaking and some are committed to book writing projects. Students may be living in the houses of the workers and/or having many of their meals with them. Although each branch is essentially a study centre, life is informal and personal. A typical day is divided into half a day of study and half a day of helping with practical work - cooking, cleaning, gardening etc. Meal times often involve lengthy discussion centered on a topic of concern to a particular student or worker. Some evenings are given over to lectures, films and bible studies.
Those who come and stay may do so for a few days or a whole term. Terms typically last two or three months. Under the guidance of one of the workers students are guided through study material most helpful to their situation. There are no set courses of study. Most branches have a book and extensive tape library.
There are no prerequisites for attending L'Abri. Many students are Christians and some are not. While those who come are most commonly single people there are some accommodations for couples and at some branches room for families. Each branch has its own term dates, daily rate and other booking details. It is essential to contact each branch individually as we do not have a central reservation system.
To find out more about a specific branch, please select the appropriate link at the top of the page.