Labyrinth 2

The day dawned all fresh and zingy so I was sure we would make it to see the Abingdonian Labyrinth at some point between 2 and 4 this afternoon.

My bike got two new inner tubes and tyres last week as the original ones which must have dated from the 80s finally gave up the ghost, so we were able to set off without needing to get the pump out.

The home of the labyrinth is a church which is very close to another church in a very quiet bit of town which has Private Roads and very large houses.

For such a small town there were plenty of places to worship back in the 1800s. We parked our bikes round the back and went in through the side door where the labyrinth is within 8 steps of the entrance.

How can anyone look at a labyrinth and not feel drawn to walking it? I led and the girls followed and a man who was in the church called to me “What are you doing? That’s just for kids!” Does God frown on adults enjoying themselves, I thought to myself but I didn’t bother replying as he had already sort of jolted the peace. The path has lots of short stretches and covers each quadrant separately which means that you are never very far from the centre.

We got to the centre and stood for a moment then I walked back on my own as the girls had spotted a Traidcraft table stacked with goodies. While they were wandering about they also saw the Stations of the Cross, the statue of Our Lady of Walsingham and the font and the candles in the red sanctuary lights and more. Questions questions questions.

I was brought up Catholic by a Catholic mum and an atheist dad and went to Catholic primary and secondary schools as well as being a weekly churchgoer but since I turned my back on it I have left all the symbolism and history at the back of my mind and it hasn’t been a part of our life at all.

Today I found myself talking about the stages of the cross, baptism, the resurrection, who Mary and Joseph were and tabernacles and blessed bread. This is a whole area of knowledge that I realise ties me to many others but is not something I share with my own. Does it matter if they don’t know the stories of the bible? Or the prayers or the history of beliefs?

These thoughts trouble me periodically and today I was relived when they decided to sit down and found that the chairs had a bum groove which they found almost impossible not to sit in.

I liked the side struts and pondered on the necessity to make people sit in a certain way and whether it would be really bad to stand on one to get a better picture of the labyrinth. I decided against standing on one and this is the best picture I could get

There are better pictures here

I may go back another Saturday on my own and walk and walk and walk.

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2 Comments to “Labyrinth 2”

  1. Yeah, feel like my kids ought to know at least some of the bible stories, but tbh they probably know more about Islam as we’ve spent more time looking at mosques than churches. Perhaps I need to send them to someone religious for a week? Oh yeah, I tried that – sent them to a church playscheme where according to my kids they sat around singing ‘Jesus songs’ lol.

  2. Knowing the bible stuff is good for crosswords in later life, and getting some jokes. Other than that…… Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice did a good enough job. Oh and The Byrds. That’ll do.

    What does ‘one’ need to know? Adam and Eve – apples and snake, nice imagery; Abraham about to knife his own son seems unnecessary; move on to a spot of Moses – all those plagues are quite engrossing; Noah and cute animals; Jonah camping out in a whale – daft but entertaining; David and Solomon – just remember the names really, might come in handy, something about some bint in a bath (Bathsheba?) and why don’t we slice a baby in half (do what?); and some nice rhymes – and a couple of proverbs. That’ll do for the OT.

    Moving on to the NT – a spot of Jesus pissing off Pharisees and vandalising the temple seems very cool but you can push old Paul and his misogynist letters off the top of Mt Sinai for all most people care I’m sure. Revelations should surely be banned as high lunacy. Only really suitable for mass murderers or street corner maniacs.

    There, a few thousand years of mind control unlocked in a matter of seconds. Someone give me a TV series. Next episode: Home Education – Saviour of Souls or Refuge of the Godless?

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