Church a 'refuge' amid festival busyness
Wellspring Church was its town festival's official quiet space, giving visitors the opportunity of walking a labyrinth
Every September the small town of Wirksworth in Derbyshire hosts a festival of art, music, and theatre, beginning with an Art and Architecture Trail weekend. Local, national and international artists and sculptors exhibit their work in venues all over the town, attracting many hundreds of visitors and local people. As part of this weekend, Wellspring Church became the festival’s official quiet space, offering an interlude of peace and spiritual refreshment.
Visitors were invited to experience the Labyrinth of Life, laid out on the floor. The ancient practice of walking the labyrinth has been revived in many places in recent years as an aid to meditation and (for some) of becoming more aware of God’s presence. Unlike a maze, the labyrinth offers no choices about which turnings to take. Participants often find that when they “let go” they become open to new insights or new answers to their questions, and become mindful of the companionship and support of others, known or unknown, who are fellow travellers on the journey.
Wellspring’s labyrinth was created using small pebbles, interspersed with objects lent by members of the congregation. These were items that are special to them as marking a significant moment in their life. They included photographs, crosses, small items of clothing, objects from various workplaces, toys, an item of knitting or jewellery etc, all regarded as “a cairn on the life journey” of the lender.
A steady stream of visitors came to sit quietly and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, as a refuge from the busyness and excitement of the festival, and many also walked the labyrinth.