Come and join me making a corn labyrinth for the wonderful Mill Road Winter Fair on Saturday 1 December 2018. You’ll need to wrap up warm (the clue is in the name!) but you’ll be sure to have fun. On the first Saturday in December each year this long and characterful Cambridge street is closed to traffic so that local residents and businesses can open their doors and sell their wares from roadside stalls, while live music and alfresco food smells mingle to create a festival atmosphere. Local churches and mosques also open their doors.
You will find the labyrinth on Petersfield, on the corner of East Road and Mill Road, near the children’s play area. The labyrinth is a great symbol of community and an oasis of calm amid the busy-ness of the fair. We’ll be making the labyrinth (using the sort of corn you feed to chickens) from 10.30 am (it’s fun to take part, or just watch the process – helpers always welcome). It will be ready for walking from 11.30, and we’ll light it up with tea lights in jam jars from 3.00 pm. The whole fair finishes by 4.30 when the road re-opens, so don’t leave it too late to visit!
If you are planning to come and help, do send me a message. See you there…
What a pleasure it was to meet with friends old and new at the Labyrinths in Britain gathering in Wanstead near London yesterday. We heard from some excellent speakers: Lea Goode-Harris explained how the Santa Rosa Labyrinth design came to be, and her pleasure at seeing it spread around the world; Mark Willenbruch spoke about his journey to the labyrinth via his work with healing plants, and encouraged us all to use our heart and gut centres to help tune in to the wisdom of the plant world. He had brought copies of his lovely hand written and illustrated book for signing. Sally Welch then explained and demonstrated the intriguing art of making and using ‘labyrinth beads’, which enable the user to walk a virtual Chartres-style labyrinth on any piece of open ground. I had long looked forward to this and with a bit of help soon got the hang of it. After lunch and labyrinth walking indoors and out, Kimberly Saward read a message from the President of The Labyrinth Society, Kay Whipple, and spoke about the role of the TLS and Veriditas in furthering knowledge and experience of labyrinths around the world. Jim Buchanan delighted us with his artistic perspective on labyrinths large and small, with much discussion of the interplay between light and shadow in his beautiful projected ‘labyrinths of light’. I particularly enjoyed holding the tactile ceramic labyrinth balls, which feature a raised labyrinth overlaid on the surface, where the centre leads you through a hole in the centre of the ball and back to the start. Brilliant! I was too involved in soaking up the experience of the day to take many photos, but I did find a peaceful moment towards the end to take a photo of the grassy mown labyrinth in the garden of the meeting house. It was such a pleasure to walk it with bare feet on a warm and sunny afternoon. Thank you to Jan Sellers for hosting us at this lovely venue, her own Quaker Meeting House, and to Andy Wiggins and Jeff and Kimberly for all their excellent organisation. I hope to see some of the participants again at the Veriditas Summer Intensive in August, and we will certainly organise another gathering next summer – probably in Saffron Walden, to coincide with the Maze Festival, which we hope will run again next year.
World Labyrinth Day, Saturday 5th May
There’s no labyrinth walk at Hartington Grove in Cambridge this year as I’ll be away on a family holiday on World Labyrinth Day.
There are two other (fairly) local labyrinth walks that I know of, in Bythorn and Huntingdon. The Bythorn walk will be held at Sarah Line’s Field of Healing, PE28 0QR (www.fieldofhealing.co.uk). Sarah says ‘come anytime between 11am and 5pm and stay as long as you want. Bring your friends and a picnic if the weather is fine’. Cost £10. The other will be held at All Saints Church Huntingdon, PE29 3NR (www.huntingdontowncentreanglicans.org.uk). The walk will be at 1.00, arrive anytime from 12.30.
Or why not visit the turf labyrinth (signposted ‘turf maze’) on Hilton village green? It’s a fabulous peaceful spot, especially if the weather is fine. Tip: there is a toilet in nearby St Mary’s Church, which is usually unlocked. There are some lovely walks, and the riding stables sell delicious goats’ milk ice cream.
As for me, this year I’m hoping to stop by the lovely Seaton labyrinth near Exeter in Devon. And I do plan to bring the labyrinth to Hartington Grove again next year.
Meanwhile, we do have TWO exciting labyrinth events happening in London and Bedford this summer:
Labyrinths in Britain Gathering Saturday 9 June, Wanstead, London E11 3AU. A fabulous day with a variety of presentations and labyrinth activities – including time and space for walking the labyrinth and instruction in using labyrinth beads to walk your own virtual labyrinth, anytime, anywhere! A great opportunity to get together with other labyrinth enthusiasts. Easy to access by train or car, open to all and very affordable at only £25.00. Follow the link below to see a pdf of the programme. Book online at https://goo.gl/forms/acB2KGDIi6KZ4A1R2
Veriditas ‘Summer Intensive’, 12-15 August, University of Bedfordshire (and a renewal day for labyrinth facilitators on Saturday 11th). A rare opportunity to train to be a labyrinth facilitator in the UK. You will need to do the qualifying workshop on Sunday 12th August followed by the training on 13th and 14th August. You can round off the experience with a labyrinth making workshop on 15th August. The workshops and training are open to all, and facilitators who have already trained may like to re-visit the two day training as a refresher. Follow this link for details of the Intensive: https://www.veriditas.org/event-2861694
The link for the Facilitators’ Renewal Day is https://www.veriditas.org/event-2861669
You will see there is a reduced rate for people attending the whole event, and very reasonable rates for accommodation and meals too.
So hopefully there’s something for every interest and budget. If you would like to enquire about using the canvas pebble labyrinth for an event you are organising, or would like me to come and lead a quiet day or other event with the labyrinth, please do get in touch. I can also lead a temporary labyrinth-making exercise on any large grassy space, using corn of the type fed to chickens. Making and walking a corn labyrinth is a wonderful experience for any group and can lead to some surprising transformations.
Come and join us for a fabulous labyrinth day!
An opportunity to meet with other labyrinth enthusiasts, learn more about labyrinths and how they are made and used today, and see the wonderful ancient turf maze on Hilton Village Green.
World Labyrinth Day Saturday 6th May, 12.30 – 2.00pm
Come and join us at the Friends Meeting House, Hartington Grove, Cambridge, CB1 7UB.
We will walk the cloth ‘pebble labyrinth’ and spend some time in quiet reflection in the peaceful setting of the Friends Meeting House.
Books and finger labyrinths will be available to browse. Refreshments of tea and fruit juice will be provided. A suggested donation of £4 will help cover hall hire. There is a car park, and further street parking.
Labyrinth Retreat at Quiet Waters Christian Retreat House, Bungay, Suffolk NR35 1PD Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th June
Cost £150 (full board) or £140 if sharing a room
On this gently paced retreat, led by experienced retreat leader Kay Barrett, we will explore the ancient form of the labyrinth and have fun making our own labyrinth in the beautiful riverside garden. We will also participate in a candlelit evening labyrinth walk. There will be plenty of opportunity for quiet time and to explore the surrounding Suffolk countryside. Our morning and evening worship will have a Celtic flavour, including songs and chants from the Iona community and Taize. All food is home cooked using local and home grown produce wherever possible.
Quiet Waters is a wonderful place to withdraw from the rush of everyday life, whether as a day guest or boarding visitor. To find out more do visit their website, http://www.quietwaters.org.uk
Places on the labyrinth retreat may be booked via Kay or by contacting Quiet Waters direct at firstname.lastname@example.org