Seven Sacred Space

A Stewardship Perspective
The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it Ps 24:1
7 Sacred ‘spaces’
 Cell
 Chapel
 Chapter
 Cloister
 Garden
 Refectory
 Scriptorium
7 sacred spaces – evolved by monastics
They share a way of eating, talking, meeting, labouring, studying,
deciding and praying designed to sustain and feed their charism
 Cell
• Being alone with God
 Chapel
• Corporate worship
 Chapter
• Communication, consultation, decisions
 Cloister
• Connections & surprises in community
 Garden
• Physical work & feed the community
 Refectory
• Eating and hospitality
 Scriptorium • Making learning available to others
Thinking in context!
 Cell
•Personal stewardship
 Chapel
•Stewardship as a church
 Chapter
•Stewardship for church committees
 Cloister
•Stewardship as we encounter others
 Garden
•Stewardship in the workplace
 Refectory
 Scriptorium
•Stewardship in our hospitality and
•Stewardship of our study and sharing of
Why notice the 7 spaces?
7 Sacred Spaces is for all of life – not just monks
 They occur in universities, conference centres, older
 With practice you can spot them and their absence
 They occur in us and in our communities
2. Those living by them, and their variety, offer balance
to living and resistance to distortions
3. They help cultivate virtues and highlight vices
4. They help us re-imagine church
5. They assist in reshaping discipleship
Church - more than the worship space
Jedburgh Abbey
A new lens through which to view and appraise
where we are?
This is a chart which should be used before and after a
period of study or reflection to demonstrate whether there is
a measurable difference for participants and hence whether
the materials we are using are fit for purpose.
The chart can be used by individuals for personal reflection
or indeed as a tool within a parish setting to consider how the
parish itself supports the exploration of such areas.
Take time to consider levels of activity in each area at the
outset of training.
Using the key provided and what you know about seven
sacred spaces plot your position on a scale of 1-4 (1. being
minimal involvement and 4. being highly engaged).
Using the same chart but perhaps using a different colour
consider what changes there have been in each area after the
course of study is complete
A re-monking of the Church & Society?
Monastic life may seem utterly
out of tune with the spirit of our
times, yet if we are entering
another Dark Age, it may be to
the wisdom of such a way the
Church of today needs to turn …
I sense that the renewal of both the Church and Society
will come through the re-emerging of forms of Christian
community that are homes of generous hospitality,
places of challenging reconciliation and centres of
attentiveness to the living God.
Brother Samuel SSF Mission and Community British & Foreign Bible Society 1998
The spaces are about ‘greater spiritual clarity as well as more authentic humanity’
Encounters 43 p. 5