"Ora et Labora"


1d 2

The Round Church Scriptorium is a writing-group community of graduates, faculty and clergy within Cambridge. The Scriptorium benefits those seeking time, space, discipline and encouragement, desiring to do their work in the company of fellow scholars who represent the various academic fields of Science, Arts & Humanities. 

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 also the monastic system contributed toward the founding of the University of Cambridge in 1209. Predating the university, the Round Church (c.1130) originally served as a wayfarers chapel on the main Roman road just outside, where a priest from the ‘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 today, the academic experience for many can be intensive, isolating and even dehumanising. To address this reality, the Round Church Scriptorium still carries the heritage of a wayfarers chapel by ministering to the scholars of the university through hospitality, community and individual support for the promotion of the scholar and quality scholarship. Places are limited each day so please email David Illman for booking -
  • The Scriptorium is open Monday - Friday, 9am - 5:30pm (From 9am-10am, please knock on the side door).
  • Lunch provided on Mondays.
  • It is essential to reconvene a few minutes before each session's start time to set goals for the session.
  • Wi-Fi and copy/printer available.
  • The vestry serves as a communal lounge for open discussion. 
  • Tea/coffee will be served promptly.
  • Toilets onsite.

Liturgy of the Hours

                   9.00am           Doors open

All:                9.15-9.25            Liturgical reading and prayer in the Chancel 

Scholars:      9.25-9.30          Split into pairs, articulate goals for session and day

                      9.30-11.00         Session 1

All:                 11-11.30              Tea/coffee

Scholars:       11.30-1pm          Session 2

All:                  1.00-2.00          Communal Lunch Discussion (lunch provided on Mondays)

Scholars:        2.00-3.00          Session 3

                       3.00-3.15           Break

                       3.15-4.15            Session 4

                       4.15-4.30           Break

                       4.30-5.30           Session 5

All:                  5:30pm              Benediction