Frequently Asked Questions
What does a typical day at L’Abri look like?
For guests, the day is divided into two, 3 ½ hour blocks of time, morning and afternoon. Each guest spends one of those blocks of time studying, and one block working at all sorts of necessary practicalities that make our shared life possible (meal prep, yard work, cleaning etc.). Three meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) are enjoyed together every day; four lunches per week are formal “Discussion Lunches” during which the Workers hosting the meal facilitate one conversation on any topic guests would like to raise. On some days, there are required gatherings in the evening while other evenings are free.
What do I need to bring with me?
While a detailed answer to this questions depends on which season you will be visiting us, casual clothes, comfortable shoes, personal items (such as toiletries), and study supplies (notebook/pens/etc.) are always necessary. Slippers or “house shoes” are also a good idea. In the winter, bring a very warm coat and snow boots; in summer, a swimsuit is a good idea.
Will my laundry be done there?
Yes! Laundry is done for you, and is done on most days of the week. Because we hang-dry as much as possible, expect a 2-3 day turn-around on items put in the hamper.
Can I prepare my own food?
No, with rare exceptions. “Family style” meals lovingly prepared by the Workers and Helpers shared around one table are, in many ways, the “backbone” of life at L’Abri. We are happy to make accommodations for medically diagnosed food allergies, and in the rare cases when doing so is beyond our capabilities, then we are happy to make arrangements for you to prepare your own food to supplement or replace the meals being made for the group. However, these arrangements need to be agreed upon well in advance of your stay here. Please indicate this need when you submit your reservation form. More information about Food at L’Abri can be found here.
Is there Wi-Fi access at L’Abri?
There is not Wi-Fi for guest use and we ask you to please read our technology policy closely to understand why. The Southborough Public Library is two miles from our door—a great place to use wi-fi on your day off.
Do you offer scholarships/can I do work (for L’Abri) while I am there to decrease the cost of my stay?
We do not offer scholarships. In fact, the $30/night room and board fee is as low as it is already because of the generous and often sacrificial financial gifts of many people who believe in the work of L’Abri. All guests ‘do work’ for L’Abri nearly every day as part of the normal work/study rhythms of the L’Abri schedule; this is another reason we are able to keep guest fees low (e.g. we don’t ‘hire out’ lawn and yard care).
Can I continue to work part time remotely (at my job) while at L’Abri?
Generally, no. Not only will you get the most out of your time here if you are fully here, there is relatively little “free time” in the week beyond your day off on Thursday.
If you don’t have an available bed can I bring a tent or hammock to sleep on the property?
We appreciate your adventurous spirit, but no. Our number of beds helpfully sets the limit of our capacity for our sake and yours… and for the sake of our septic system. You are welcome to bring and string a hammock between the white pines for daytime use.
Who can come to L’Abri? Is it just for college-aged people? What about families or people in later seasons of life?
Anyone 18 years of age and older may come to L’Abri.
We love having families with us, but our accommodations for families is very limited—best to inquire and book well in advance! While children under 18 are not able to take part in the L’Abri schedule, they are otherwise welcome at all informal times. Usually, parents take turns caring for kids and participating in L’Abri activities (study/work/tutorials/lectures/discussion meals). We have some baby/toddler equipment available for use (pack-n-play/portable high chair/monitor), so please check with us about your needs.
Those in mid- and later seasons of life are also whole-heartedly welcome at L’Abri. Guests often find L’Abri to be a helpful place to spend time during life transitions, whether between education or employment, unexpected changes in relationships or retirement. Please do keep in mind that our property and houses are not wheelchair accessible, so if mobility is a concern, please let us know about your particular needs so we can decide with you whether or not we can accommodate you. Also remember that most likely you will be sharing a room with several other people.
Do I have to be a Christian to go to L’Abri?
No. L’Abri is a place for those who want to ask life’s deep questions not merely for the sake of questioning, but in genuine search for truthful, meaningful answers. People of all backgrounds come to L’Abri, including atheists, agnostics, believers in a variety of religions and Christian denominations. We strive to create and nurture an environment of hospitality and honest dialogue.
It is important for you to know that all of the Workers are Christians, living and speaking from that conviction and perspective. Lectures and other teaching times often cover Christian topics, and many discussions deal with questions pertaining to what it means to live the Christian life.