November 1997: Labyrinth
LOPE (Live on Planet Earth) joined us to run a labyrinth. This was a service which they had developed at their home church in Kent. It was the basis for the St. Paul's Cathedral labyrinth of 2000 and after.
There were four 'stations' focussing on our relationship with God, Others, Ourselves and the Planet, of which the labyrinth is the 'God' one. The idea was for people to visit each of the stations, in between they can just chill out, sitting outside the labyrinth. The labyrinth itself took between 10 - 20 minutes for each person to go round but there were loads of people on at the same time.
The main themes for the labyrinth itself were:
'centering ourselves on God'
'letting go' / 'shedding'
These were explained along with a general chat about what is going on right at the beginning, this was to explain what will be happening, what people can do and to set their minds at rest. There was also a short meditation at this stage to get people relaxed.
The only other things happening were an overarching meditation and two or three set piece songs that the band did - they went on in the background, people could either use it, if they were just chilling out, or ignore it. They drew the themes together and the meditation incorporated various appropriate Bible readings.
Before entering the labyrinth, people had their feet washed. They then walked the labyrinth barefoot, and there were soft and rough textures to walk on to symbolise aspects of our life journey. In addition Written words were placed at intervals on the labyrinth to guide people's thoughts.