Pop-up labyrinth on the lawn

Last weekend we helped to run an inter-church youth event focussing on prayer. As part of this we set up several prayer activities in the hall and the church but also created a kind of ‘pop-up’ Labyrinth for a small lawn in front of the vicarage. Here is what it looked like.

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We divided the Lord’s Prayer into six sections and set about designing a Labyrinth route that would fit the space, with overall dimensions of 18m x 6m. Being outdoors we adopted a path width of 1m which is wide by normal Labyrinth standards but we had the space and didn’t want people to feel crowded as they passed one another. The law of unintended consequences meant that in the end this turned out to be a good thing.

Barrier tape (70mm wide) was used to mark out the pathways, pinned to the lawn using gardening ground spikes, normally used for pinning down ground cover sheeting. These are made of plastic and, the ground being slightly drier than expected, we found we needed to pre-bore the hole with a tapered pair of scissors that we were using to cut the tape, otherwise the pegs bent.

Scripts for each of the six reflective pauses were printed and laminated and attached to 1.5m garden stakes using big bulldog clips. All of this took two of us just 45 minutes to set up.

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We were amazed at how people took to the Labyrinth. Whilst we had, perhaps naively, expected that people would go round individually, being young people they wanted to go round with their friends so groups of 3 or 4 (maximum) became the norm. Thankfully, having 1m wide pathways meant that there was enough space for groups walking round. Being in a group meant that they discussed the scripts and the questions raised at each stop before moving on. As seems to be the way with Labyrinths, there’s a bit of a rush to the first pause but gradually people slow down the further along they go.

Afterwards it took about 10 minutes to clear it all away. We binned the used tape but kept everything else. Already we’re getting requests to set it up again for other church and worship events.

If you want to have a go, the design and scripts are here CYO Labyrinth script.

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