The Labyrinth Prayer Walk
The labyrinth is a walking meditation that enables us to find an inner stillness and focus on our thoughts and feelings. Labyrinths have been used by Christians for hundreds of years and can be found in cathedrals all over Europe. Though, as with many Christian symbols, labyrinths pre-date Christianity and go back almost 5 000 years.
Unlike a maze, a labyrinth is a continuous path which leads
to the centre and out again; a spiritual journey which invloves releasing distractions on the way in, receiving spiritual guidance in the centre and returning to your life with a renewed sense of purpose.
Our labyrinth is a very simple three-circuit design which I chose to represent the Trinity - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Making the labyrinth
Since my first experience of walking a labyrinth as a student at St. Martin's College, I have always wanted to build my own but never thought it would happen. In Spring 2020, the isolation of the Coronavirus lockdown provided me with the time, beautiful weather and spiritual inspiration necessary to attempt my own prayer walk.
The first job was to clear the overgrown tangle of brambles and nettles.
Then we needed to prepare the ground and map out the design.
Next, we laid foundations for a circular wall in the centre.
Then there was lots and lots of digging and planting to do.
I painted some rocks with verses from the bible.
We needed a feature in the centre of the labyrinth with a place to sit and be still, so my Dad set to work building a ruin.
Finally, before we opened to visitors we asked Rev. Canon Herrick Daniel to come and bless the labyrinth.
"We are standing
on holy ground,
and I know there are angels are all around.
Let us praise
For we are standing
in His presence
on holy ground."
I wrote this poem about my experience walking a labyrinth.
I stood at the entrance to the labryinth
If I should end the journey before it had begun.
But God opened the door for me.
I held my worries like heavy burdens
If I could carry them.
But God took them from me.
I met God in the centre of the labryinth
If I could stay there forever.
God said, "I will stay with you forever."
I looked at my life
Why God had chosen to bless me so much.
God said, "I love you."
I made a footprint in the sand
Where I should go next.
God said, "I will lead you."
The labyrinth has already been the source of many blessings, both for us as a family and for visitors to the garden.
For the past two years, unable to attend church on Easter Day, we held our own
family eucharist in the centre of the labyrinth.
In 2020 it was just a pile of stones, but we didn't let that stop us.
In 2021 we felt as though we had our own little outdoor chapel!
Lots of visitors have found peace in the labyrinth and even contributed to developing it further by suggesting new prayers, planting trees and donating gifts to incorporate into the building.
As the planting matures, the labyrinth is beginning to blend in with the landscape. But, just like us, it is constantly changing and developing as it is used to further God's will.