One of the distinctive features of Mill House is that it is run by an intentional community of people who live and work alongside local volunteers to offer a friendly welcome, home cooked food and a simple daily rhythm of prayer and reflection. 



jane taylor

Jane Taylor is the founder of Mill House Retreats. She came to Devon in 2004 with the aim of starting a small working community that would help with the running of a retreat. In some ways the vision grew out of keeping 'open house' in her family home which, coupled with a three month internship at Othona Community in Dorset, led to her purchasing Rocknell Manor Farm.

Jane has worked in human resources, been an independent trader and more recently a parish priest; she's keen to help groups and individuals explore an integrated life. Her love of architecture and design finds expression in the house and contemporary courtyard development. She has two grown up children and as a graduate of Exeter University has returned to one of her favourite parts of the country. 


Lynne Chitty

Lynne joined the community in 2008. A Deacon at Gloucester Cathedral, she worked for some years as a legal drafter in the Land Registry. She has a strong interest in people and prayer, living a contemplative life with increasing amounts of solitude and silence. She has a gift for creative writing, incorporating a love of fiction with her down to earth approach to spirituality. She currently hosts a monthly creative writing group and writes regularly for Roots resources.

Lynne has one grown up cat, two guinea pigs, a motley bunch of rescue cockerels and a runner duck reflecting a life-long passion for animal welfare. She is also a committed Spurs fan!

Lynne writes for ROOTS and Quiet Spaces and has just published her first novel 'Out of the Mist'   which is available as an ebook or paperback on Amazon or on Troubador Publishers  website                   

Trudy & Dougal!

Trudy Barratt

Trudy joined the community at Mill House seven months ago. She is compassionate, faithful and is followed everywhere by her sidekick, Dougal! 

Ainslie Wilson

Ainslie joined the community at Mill House in June of 2017, having been a frequent visitor and friend for the past several years. `Prior to this, she lived in the Salisbury area, where she worked as a Teaching Assistant for 20 years, mostly supporting children with additional needs. In recent years, Ainslie has volunteered as an AgeUK befriender and a Street Pastor. She has a heart for people and is an excellent listener. She loves to come alongside people who are going through difficult times and encourage them.  

Ainslie is an artist, having completed a 2 year diploma in graphic design from the Salisbury College of Art. She enjoys reading, painting, experiencing new things and a casual stroll. She is blessed with two beautiful daughters and a grandson. 


Mill House is also supported by a number of local, special people who offer their time and talents, among them:


Roger Ascough manages our accounts and acts as a 'critical friend', having previously worked as an external consultant to industry. 

Vanessa Ascough brings flair to kitchen preparations on busy days and as former editor of 'Leadership Matters' for the University of Exeter's Centre for Leadership Studies and current editor of Topsham Museum's newsletter, her way with words enriches our publicity. 

Tony Lane recently spent a year as part of our community and continues to retain links with us, offering the benefit of his rural skills, mowing, landscaping, maintenance. 

Previous community members continue to support us as Prayer Partners: Kizzy and Dave Harris, Sarah Crosse, and Kathy Lowe.