I'm part of a barefoot reading group (name was borrowed from Brodie McGregor and is from the excellent AoC 2011 Lent book Barefoot Disciple by Stephen Cherry) and we've been reading George Lings Encounters on the Edge booklet Seven Sacred Spaces. The book arises out of a study of monastic life and time spent with the Northumbria Community and the Anglican Franciscans at Hilfield in Dorset. Lings discerns seven sacred spaces in monastic life: Cell, Chapel, Chapter, Cloister, Garden, Refectory, and Scriptorium. While most churches focus on chapel, Lings argues that a healthy Christian community needs to be balance all seven spaces, with chapel and refectory being 'the twin centres of life' (p.24). The booklet is well worth reading and be purchased here. We had some rich discussion about where these spaces might be in our community life and how we might be more intentional in developing them. Looking forward to where this may go.
Talking about monastic, I'm hoping to make it to some of the first Baptist Order Convocation happening this week. An exciting development that is emerging for British Baptists.