This card was given to me by someone who knows my interest in hermitages. It is not quite what I have in mind for the Field of Merit hermitages, but it is in the right spirit and I enjoy looking at it and am inspired by it.
Last week Rev. Wilfrid (a fellow trustee of this charity) and I visited United British Caravans, on Sandy Lane in Newcastle, to get an idea of what modern touring caravans look like and if they would be suitable as hermitages. I must admit that a caravan would not be my first choice as they are, understandably, not constructed with environmental considerations as a high priority, though they are better insulated nowadays and generally have double-glazing. On the plus side, a caravan contains all the facilities you need in a compact space, and it is movable.
This one that we looked at has a fixed bed at one end, which can be screened off, a toilet and a shower, cooker, fridge & sink, and a gas heater (click on a photo to enlarge it, or click here to go to the details on the UBC website). I would probably remove the fixed seating to make room for a table and chair and a meditation place. This caravan is a second-hand 4-berth Elddis Odyssey in very good condition for sale at £8,284. If you go for something a little older and more worn you can still get a good van for half that price or less. Given that there is very little money in the kitty, and we have to start somewhere, I think the first hermitage is likely to be a caravan, so If anyone out there has any advice about buying caravans please get in touch with me, I’d be very grateful.
I also want to say a big THANK YOU to the trustees of Reading Buddhist Priory, who have so kindly lent the Priory car, a 1999 Nissan Micra, to Field of Merit for so long as it is not needed at Reading, which will be at least a few months and possibly longer. This is such a helpful offering!