At a time when British society faces ever-increasing challenges, there is a hidden community in the English countryside who seem to have found the answer to a harmonious life. There is no crime, debt, or homelessness, none of the children have mobile phones, use social media, or watch television. They are the Bruderhof, a radical Christian movement whose members have traveled across the world to live in their own village called Darvell, in Sussex.
Now this private community has decided to let the cameras into experience their way of life and as one of the residents contemplates her future, this BBC special holds a mirror up to the modern way of life in Britain today, with its consumerist concerns, high rates of crime and deprivation whilst attempting to discover what price members here have to pay in order to live in their modern-day utopia, were for almost 50 years now this extraordinary radical Christian community has lived outside of mainstream society.
We start off by meeting Bernard Hibbs, who came to Darvel almost 30 years ago, he met his wife Rachel here and they have three children. Bernard explains that the purpose of the community was to follow Jesus’s teachings in the Sermon on the Mount as closely as possible. The Bruderhof has nearly 3,000 members in 23 settlements worldwide, members tend to move between these settlements and it can be a transient life. Bernard reveals that as families grow or shrink people tend to move around and in the time that he has lived in Darvel he has lived in around 30 different houses.
Like Bernards, each of the 55 families here live communally and nobody owns anything. They share everything from living space, food, and clothes. It is a century-old movement and has a strict dress code, with some of the ladies and children wear being made on-site by the sisters.
Directed by: Emma Pentecost