The Wyken Labyrinth

The front lawn at Hocking Road, Wyken used to have a willow tree in the middle of it, but it had become unruly, difficult to cut and the roots were getting under the building, so we cut it down and looked at the big open space that had appeared – what could we do with it? At the same time we had put a low fence around the area so as to discourage people from cutting across it and creating a muddy path – but we didn’t really want to say, “Keep out” we wanted to say “Come in”. We talked about landscaping and we talked about prayer and then some said, “What about a Labyrinth?” on first hearing it was a daft idea – it’s an open space next to a busy road, with lots of pedestrians passing, especially before and after school, how could anyone use it as a place of quiet prayfulness? And yet, why not? Of course some people said, “What’s a Labyrinth?’ and so Mhari, a student on placement, brought us a portable Labyrinth and enough people saw the value to say, “Yes, lets do it”. At the same time Synod told us we had to use money from the Bell Green Fund, it had been left to the churches of East Coventry to use for Mission when Bell Green URC closed a number of year ago. The labyrinth would be a landmark, a focal point, a way of exploring player, holding quiet days, retreats – it seemed a good use of the money. And you know what, it’s place next to a busy road is perfect, it’s a not a place to retreat away from the world, but a place in which we can be aware of God-with-us dwelling in the midst of busy, chaotic, travelling lives. It’s a place a peace amongst imperfection.

We explored various ways to do it, something green, something easy to maintain, something simple. We were scared off by a professional quote and then wondered if we could do it ourselves. And so we have designed a labyrinth that will consist of bricks sunk into the grass to create the lines, until you reach the centre point where there will be heathers, herbs and lavenders, scents and colour. The lines are now marked out, the pattern set and this weekend (May 3rd to 5th 2013) we will dig out the lines, sink the bricks, soil the borders and create a labyrinth. The “we” is flexible, there are some indications of help, but the more the merrier will be appreciated – from 10am on Saturday, noonish on Sunday and 10am on Monday – spades, muscles, cakes and enthusiasm welcomed!

After that, we need to use it and encourage others to use it, but that is for the future ….