Thursday, April 07, 2011

Seven Sacred Spaces : 7 : Scriptorium

The scriptorium is the place where learning is passed on.  Traditionally, within a monastery, this is a library collection, with desks for study (and at one time, for copying manuscripts).  But in fact the principle applies to a wider sense of passing on knowledge and skills, within and for the wider community.  It may be possible to establish links with local schools: senior citizens going into classes or assemblies to share stories of how the community was when they were young, and has changed since; or to hear children read; or setting up a homework club; or coaching a sporting activity.  It may be more appropriate to offer some form of adult education, passing-on skills in computing, or cookery, or gardening, or parenting.  Or to take a role in informing the wider community about justice issues, such as human trafficking.  The scriptorium is a ‘space’ or activity belonging to the missional community as a whole, not the pet project of an individual.  Given other demands on people’s lives – and of course the need to keep the different sacred spaces in balance – a ‘scriptorium’ should be chosen which is not overly ambitious, not unsustainable (and here I would include the observation that there should be one scriptorium, not several).  But to lack any scriptorium is to be both inward-looking and short-sighted.

What experiences do you have of the scriptorium within missional community?

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