The Labyrinth

An introduction to the labyrinth

The Wakefield Cathedral Labyrinth was installed as part of Project 2013 when major works were underway in the cathedral thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Made from stone quarried from Holmfirth, the labyrinth is not just an eye-catching display upon entering the cathedral, it offers a path of prayer, guiding people on their spiritual journey.

Walking the labyrinth

Often misconstrued, labyrinths are not mazes out to trick and confuse participants, in fact they are quite the opposite. Labyrinths have just one continuous path, leading the participant from the entry to the centre, a spiritual guide that can help us find our way.

Any visitor to Wakefield Cathedral is welcome to walk the labyrinth, with the aim of stilling our minds, grounding our bodies, reducing stress and opening our hearts. We can use our experience of walking the labyrinth as a metaphor for our own lives or focus on a particular issue or situation.

How to approach walking the labyrinth

To prepare, before walking the labyrinth take some time to sit quietly and reflect (you may wish to take your shoes off which is fine). Focus on your breathing and consider what you aim to achieve from your journey:

  • Do you have a question you want to think about?
  • Do you feel a need to slow down and take time out?
  • Many people walk the labyrinth to find strength and courage or during times of grief and loss.

Once you feel ready, there are three stages to your journey. As you walk the labyrinth, allow yourself to find the pace your body wants to go; meeting people on the way, you may pass or step around them. Do what feels natural when you meet. Allow about one minute between people as you enter the labyrinth.

The journey

  1. The inward journey (purgation) – a time of letting go and releasing
  2. The middle (illumination) – a time of stillness, reflection and receptivity
  3. The outward journey (union) – a time of returning to the outside world, taking back what we have learned.

We hope you will find following the path a spiritual, enjoyable and relaxing experience. May God go with you.

The labyrinth in all its glory

Students from the Backstage Academy (a live-industry-leading educational campus based in South Kirkby, West Yorkshire) created an extraordinary visual display focusing on the Wakefield Cathedral labyrinth as one of their projects.

See the video below for the incredible result.

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Wakefield Cathedral

Cathedral Centre
8-10 Westmorland St
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01924 373923