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. 

It's founder, Jane Taylor, 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 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. She has one grown up cat, a blind dog,4 guinea pigs and a motley bunch of rescue chickens, and runner ducks reflecting a life long passion for animal welfare. She is a committed Spurs fan! You can read some of Lynne's work on or contact her on

The project is supported by a number of special people who offer their time and talents, among them: Roger Ascough, who acts as 'critical friend', having previously worked as an external consultant to industry. He also manages our accounts and maintains a regular pattern of exercise by mowing our lawns!

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. 

Anne Sworn lives in the Blackdown Hills and is actively involved in her local community where she has set up and run a community cafe. She is an elder in the Hemyock Baptist Church, a former midwife and now volunteers with the Taunton Hospital Chaplaincy team.

Kizzy and Dave Harris took a three month career break with us to experience community life. During that time Dave helped to construct the reed bed which manages the project's waste water and sewage system and learnt to butcher home produced pork among other things!

Kizzy helped to look after our animals (pigs, chickens & sheep at the time) and joined the house team in day to day running of the retreat. They have since moved to Somerset and established a small holding of their own, offering their house for rest stays and quiet days. Kizzy is one of our massage therapists on 'Relax at Rocknell' days and they continue to offer support alongside a growing number of friends and prayer partners who share the vision.

Sarah Crosse lived and worked with us for a year at a time of transition in her life when she was balancing family, work and training. She worked mostly in the garden and still comes back frequently to do some tending and nurturing. She has a nursing background and recently completed a study course at Moorlands Bible College.