The Case For Narnia

Why We’re Creating the Narnia Guest House at Magnalia

In God’s providence, we have come to believe that the humble piece of ground which has been our family Homestead is to be stewarded for a purpose extending far beyond our family’s use.

During the past five years, we’ve donated 12 acres of land to the non-profit 501(c)3 ministry called Magnalia. We’ve done this to create a “beacon and a shelter” for people who might be blessed by it. This modest property now hosts events, accommodations, community meals and educational programs running throughout the year – welcoming on average more than 100 guests each month.

We focused initially on supporting people with special needs, and veterans, as well as guests who desired both solitude and community. We’ve prayed over and again the prayer of Francis and Edith Schaeffer in their L’Abri adventure: “Lord, bring those who should come, and keep away those who shouldn’t.” Thousands have come in the years since we began.

Partners in ministry have rallied alongside us to provide match funding for the construction of Walden Cabin, OnePull Community Garden, The Village Blacksmith Shoppe, The Crown & Pepper Garden House, The Pole Barn, Camp Paradise, The James Herriot Milking Barn, trails, pastures, and more. A Hobbit-hole and a small chapel called Parish House are now officially “works-in-process” as well, after clearing and constructing roads to enable workers to access the building sites designated for those projects.
At the heart of our vision is a desire to create a “Guest, Resident and Retreat Infrastructure” that can accommodate visitors here. Guests come here for fellowship, soul care, rest and renewal. Residents are living here for a spell: they are studying and learning in community, working the farm, participating in internships — and helping us to serve our guests. All of this creates a context as well for meaningful retreats organized with churches, academic institutions, and corporate and non-profit organizations.

The interplay between the residents and guests — combined with those visiting for community events and activities — will, we believe, create many unique and life-changing opportunities.

Narnia Cottage is central to the “Guests and Residents” vision. Designed an English Cottage inspired by the only home of Christian author C.S. Lewis, this 2,400-square foot guest residence will have three beautiful rooms for boarders, a full-service kitchen and small dining hall, a gathering room, and private as well as public bathrooms (to support events scheduled in the adjacent 1850’s-era Village at the North end of Narnia’s front lawn).

2024 Project :
Narnia Cottage

Structure 2:
Narnia Cottage
In addition to artifacts and books connected to the life and literary legacy of C.S. Lewis, Narnia Cottage will feature magical reading nooks, a large fireplace, wardrobe-fashioned doors into the bedrooms, a private English-style garden, a gas lamppost in the nearby forest, and many other Narnian delights.

Guest scheduling will include a mix of people needing soul care, rest and renewal, pastoral and study center residents, veterans, and friends who are part of the special needs community. Additional guests will come through AirBNB and VRBO bookings. Those guests will help strengthen the financial sustainability model for Narnia Guest House, and also present ministry opportunities based on our experiences with Walden Cabin to date.

Our family and other friends of Magnalia have helped to secure the financing for the “structural costs” of Narnia Guest House. The Foundation has a goal of Narnia being entirely self-sustaining, and we hope to pay off the mortgage in seven years. We project a minimum net of $2,500-3,500/month from AirBNB/VRBO rentals (upstairs rooms at $150/night and the Innkeeper room at $250/night).

We have a match partner who has committed up to $30,000 in order to help Magnalia Foundation raise a total of $60,000 for the “finishing costs” of the house by March, 2024. We invite you to participate in this matching gifts campaign to help to bring this life-changing project to life!

All donors will be credited on an entry sign near Narnia Guest House, and on the website, and will be given an allotment of room nights to gift to a ministry or (non-family) third party of their choice.

We pledge our utmost to make this an “experience destination” that points people to the glories of the gospel and the contours of biblical worldview, in the context of warm Christian hospitality.

“Further up and further in!”|With love,