Pray your way in and out at the Minchinhampton labyrinth

Published: Monday June 5, 2023

Labyrinth mown into grass at Holy Trinity MinchinahmptonThe churchyard at Holy Trinity Minchinhampton is a beautiful open space next to Minchinhampton Common. The church’s Eco team have created a labyrinth in the churchyard, cutting paths to walk through the long grasses.

The Revd Gerald South says, “Labyrinths are known to have existed over 4,000 years ago and many ancient examples have been found across the world. In a Christian context, one in Algeria dates back to 324 AD and a famous mediaeval labyrinth is that in the floor of Chartres Cathedral. Turf labyrinths were popular in Medieval England, often on village greens and this has inspired the creation of a labyrinth at the top of the churchyard at Holy Trinity Minchinhampton.”

An area of the churchyard has been set aside for the nurture of wildflowers and within this space Gerald cut a simple labyrinth. Unlike mazes, labyrinths have no dead ends or points of decision: the path from the entrance leads eventually to the centre.

“I cut the labyrinth starting with a post on the middle and a rope to get approximate concentric circles – it is a fairly simple design as labyrinths go but it’s made the most of the space available.”

The area won’t be cut until July and it will then be scythed with the cuttings being taken by a local farmer for fodder. This is part of Holy Trinity’s churchyard management plan and Eco Church activity – having just achieved the Eco Church Bronze Award, they are now working towards Silver.

Gerald says, “It may be used as a prayerful walk, possibly with a particular Bible passage or personal concern in mind, or just allowing it to enable God to speak. Some of the details of the labyrinth may enable us to prayerfully reflect on our own lives: the uncertain direction of the destination, sometimes seeming to get further from the centre, variations in the smoothness and width of the path, the beauty and variety of the natural flora beside our feet, the experience of reaching the centre and resting there, the outward journey and then returning to the outside world.

“Please do visit the labyrinth and we pray that it will be a valuable experience for you, or come along on Saturday 10 June and help us count the wildlife. It will be interesting to see the flora and fauna in the various areas of the churchyard and especially around the labyrinth.”

Holy Trinity  Church, Minchinhampton is kicking off Great Big Green Week (10 – 18 June), with a family-friendly ‘bioblitz’ in the churchyard. Join them between 10.30am–11.30am on Saturday 10 June to have a fun-filled hour finding creatures and discovering plants making their home there.

We love to share the creative ways churches across the Diocese are taking part in #EcoChurchInAnHour – send your stories to ku.gr1716824611o.coi1716824611dsolg1716824611@newo1716824611k1716824611

Eco Church in an hour logo

Leave a Reply

Most popular articles today: