Seven sacred spaces

I was greatly inspired by David Keen’s post on Fresh Expressions of Bookshop which cites an article by George Lings of Church Army. George has written about the 7 sacred spaces (Word Doc download) found within ‘new’ and old monasticism which express the life of the community. They are:

Chapel – place of public worship
Chapter – place of decision making and ordering community life
Refectory – place of eating and hospitality, community and service.
Cell – place of private prayer
Cloister – ‘inbetween’ space, unstructured, allows for informal interaction
Garden – place of manual work
Scriptorum – place of study.

David goes on to reflect on how these characteristics might be lived out by a church, and then by a Christian bookshop.

But, as someone with an interest in creating ‘sacred spaces in schools’ it also got me wondering about where else we might take Sanctum.

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3 Responses to Seven sacred spaces

  1. David Keen says:

    Thanks Tim – the original piece by George Lings is in a booklet series called ‘Encounters on the Edge’, produced by the Church Army. I think the Word download is some supplementary material to the original booklet. Well worth reading the original, it’s very relevant to the way we use church buildings as well.
    I was also struck by how it applies to ‘new monastic’ places like Boiler Rooms, and I guess it applies to some education institutions as well – the older ones have chapel, library, refectory, cell (rooms), quads/cloister etc., but then I guess the only model they had to go on for communal buildings was the monasteries.

  2. David Keen says:

    Hi Tim – the Sheffield Centre have just published another thing on the ‘7 sacred spaces’, if you’re interested: and click on research bulletin 5. It’s a collection of short pieces by missioners on the topic.

  3. Sally says:

    I like that thinking Tim, and am going to go and look at the research bulletin David suggests!

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