Labyrinth

where heart speaks to heart


Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16


Labyrinth at Blessed John Henry Newman Catholic Church Warrington
Labyrinth at Blessed John Henry Newman Catholic Church Warrington

Set into the floor of the church is our own version of the famous Chartres Labyrinth; an attractive and decorative feature that also stands in a long spiritual tradition.

 

At different times of year this area provides a focus for our liturgical celebrations. Here we place our Advent Wreath, our Good Friday Cross and our Easter Candle; while immediately above is the Bethlehem Star as a permanent reminder of the Incarnation.

 

The seating is arranged enabling the whole of the labyrinth to be seen and allowing individuals to walk it as a reflective exercise. Children from both parish schools have spent time together with activities and meditations organised in a way to help them appreciate the meaning of the labyrinth.

 


Labyrinth Workshops

We are very willing to provide workshops of a spiritual or educational nature for small groups of adults or school classes.

 

The material and content appropriate to the group involved can be prepared by mutual agreement so long as it does not disrespect the Christian character of the building and its community.

 

To arrange a visit as an individual or group please contact Father Peter by email 

 

bjhnwarrington@gmail.com


Three Steps to Walking The Labyrinth

When you search for me, you will find me;

When you search wholeheartedly for me,

I shall let you find me. Jeremiah 29:13

 

In the midst of busy, stressful lives it is good to take a little time to do something that deliberately slows us down. To walk a labyrinth is such an exercise. Walking slowly and deliberately can release us from some of the anxieties and preoccupations that clutter our minds. You can also treat the journey as an allegory of the life of faith; sometimes we seem close to the centre then we veer away but with patience and trust we continue to our ultimate encounter with Infinite Love.

 

The origins of the labyrinth are very ancient and the classical world incorporated the Labyrinth in its mythology. Christians adopted it as a symbol of the spiritual journey and the design we have on the floor of our church is a replica of the famous labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral in northern France.

 

Labyrinths differ from mazes. A maze is a left-brain cognitive puzzle, with dead ends and false turns. A maze requires continual decisions and appeal to the ego. Labyrinths are right-brain devices that invite and stir the use of intuition and reflection. People walking a labyrinth have no need to be distracted by anxiety about making it through, they can relax and allow images and emotions to emerge. Some report finding solutions and reassurance whilst walking the labyrinth. Others take the opportunity to leave a burden behind in the centre before making their way back to life with a new sense of freedom.

 

You are invited to spend whatever length of time you choose to walk the labyrinth or to sit or stand in the middle for a while. As you do so try to relax and let go of any anxiety or trouble. Become conscious of your breathing and feel the solidity of the ground beneath your feet.

 

STEP OUT: Each step along the labyrinth path represents a releasing, by stepping out on the journey we allow ourselves for a short time to let go of the busy day-to-day preoccupations in daily life, shedding thoughts and emotions, quieting and emptying the mind.

 

STEP IN: When we reach the centre, we can stay as long as we like. The heart of the labyrinth is a place of rest, meditation and prayer. A place to receive what is there to receive.

 

STEP FORWARD: When we decide to leave, we follow the same path out, taking back with us whatever we have received and re-engaging with the bigger journey that lies ahead.