Dating from the 6th century, scriptorium means “a place for writing” and refers to a room in medieval European monasteries devoted to the writing, copying and illuminating of manuscripts by monastic scribes. They defined European literary culture and selectively preserved the literary history of the West. Not only had Christian monasteries become the centres of learning throughout Europe, but the monastic system contributed toward the founding of Cambridge University in 1209. Predating the university, the Round Church (c.1130) originally served as a wayfarers chapel on the main Roman road, where a priest of ‘Hospital of St. Johns’ (later site for St. John’s College) would minister with hospitality to the weary traveler. Given the transient nature of Cambridge, the academic experience for many can be pressure-driven, isolating and fragmenting, affecting the health of the scholars' intellectual life and scholarship.
To address this reality, The Cambridge Scriptorium still maintains the practice of a wayfarers chapel by hosting the graduate and faculty community through our tailored daily schedule, the Liturgy of the Hours - an integrated structure of word, prayer, work, and table - serving as a guidance for scholars of the university seeking to complete their writing projects.
Liturgy of the Hours
Word - Divine Offices at the beginning and end of the day. By these we are addressed by the Word of Christ in Scripture.
Prayer – Divine Offices as responses of listening, confession and praise – our ‘word back’ to the Lord.
Work – Labour of a scholarly kind as our doxological response to Christ’s address, for ‘in His light, we see light’.
Table – Sharing lunch as an expression of our life together, providing a cross-fertilisation of ideas and encouragement.
All: 9.00am Word & Prayer
Scholars: 9.30-11.00 Work
All: 11.00-11.30 Tea & Coffee
Scholars: 11.30-1.00pm Work
All: 1.00-2.00 Table & Word
Scholars: 2.00-3.15 Work
All: 3.15-3.30 Tea & Coffee
Scholars: 3.30-5.00 Work
All: 5.00 Benediction
I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth:
And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord,
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit,
Born of the Virgin Mary.
He Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died, and was buried:
He descended to the dead.
One the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
And is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit;
The holy catholic Church;
The Communion of Saints;
The Forgiveness of sins;
The Resurrection of the body,
And the Life everlasting. Amen
Student’s Prayer - Thomas Aquinas
Creator of all things, true source of light and wisdom, lofty origin of all being, graciously let a ray of Thy brilliance penetrate into the darkness of my understanding.
And take from me the double darkness in which I have been conceived, an obscurity of both sin and ignorance.
Give me a sharp sense of understanding, a retentive memory, and the ability to grasp things correctly and fundamentally.
Grant me the talent of being exact in my explanations and the ability to express myself with thoroughness and charm.
Point out the beginning, direct the progress,
and help in the completion; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Want to join us? We offer:
Friendly service provided during the study;
desks hold one plug socket & two USB ports;
tea and coffee served during breaks;
lunch served by staff on Fridays;
Food & fellowship with others;
small discussion groups for cross-fertilisation;
no religious affiliation is necessary to join;
city centre location
Productivity in reaching individual goals;
scholars are encouraged to present their work;
reserved for graduates and faculty of the University of Cambridge
We are open Tuesday - Friday; 9am - 5:00pm. You're welcome to join us, but places are limited each day. For booking a desk, please contact David Illman: email@example.com