I HAVE been reading a book, ‘The Way of St Benedict’, by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams reflecting on these monastic guidelines for conduct written over a thousand years ago which includes advice about how we speak to each other.

In this book, Rowan asks us, ‘What is the ‘currency’ we share with another?’ Meaning: What is the common narrative essence of our conversations?

At Scargill we live as a Christian Community and the positive or negative ways we speak to each other shape our life together.

It would not surprise many of you that sometimes grumbling can heard among us!

St Benedict has plenty to say about the dangers of grumbling. It does literally drain the life out of any community. But, let’s be honest, it is naturally easy to grumble.

I wonder what you see as the narrative or ‘currency’ shared within your workplace, home, and institutions that you belong to?

A Scargill Community member summarised it for a former workplace as: “It was ‘blame’: “it’s always someone else’s fault””.

At Scargill, we are consciously seeking to speak words of gratitude and thankfulness to one another and to our gracious God.

It is amazing what ‘life’ gratefulness can bring to a community. It is hard to be anxious when you are grateful or to be defended when are hearts are thankful.

Meister Eckart, (a German mystic in the middle ages) said, ‘if the only prayer you say your whole life is “thank you” that would suffice’.

St. Paul, experienced in trials and suffering, exalts us to be thankful: ‘Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’ (1 Thessalonians 5 16 -18).

So, may words of gratitude be on our lips, may this be the ‘currency’ we share, and see what life it brings.

Revd Canon Phil Stone

Community Leader at Scargill House, Kettlewell