Wednesday, 21 July 2021

St. Albert United Church Labyrinth

As I said in my last post about labyrinths, I'm trying to find a suitable outdoor labyrinth in or near Edmonton to serve as my new spot for walking meditation. Last week, I checked out this one in St. Albert, which is a small city just outside Edmonton.


Nice to see from the little Pride flag on its church sign that this is an "affirming" United Church which welcomes the LGBTQ+ community.

Other helpful signage enabled me to find the labyrinth at the back of the rather large church.


The labyrinth entrance is marked by two "peace poles" and flower boxes full of pansies and johnny-jump-ups. The labyrinth is in a quiet spot surrounded by huge trees providing some welcome partial shade on a hot, sunny day.


The peace poles were once painted in bright, colourful images by the kids of the Sunday School, but their current faded state tells me this labyrinth was constructed quite a while ago.


The labyrinth is a classic 11-circuit Chartres model. The circuit walls are composed of counter-sunk bricks for ease of mowing.


I found the labyrinth difficult to use for two reasons: (1) the circuit paths are quite narrow and (2) the earthen-coloured bricks are hard to see against the dry, scrubby grass. The complex twists and turns of the circuit walls would be much clearer if the bricks were painted white, but that requires a lot of upkeep.


The centre of the labyrinth is marked by a large granite rock, which is very common in prairie labyrinths. I had a little sit-down here when I finally reached the centre. An 11-circuit labyrinth involves a lot of walking!


It's a nice enough labyrinth and I'm glad I checked it out, but this won't become my "go to" spot because of the difficulties in its use mentioned above.

So the search continues!

[Photos © Debra She Who Seeks, July 2021]

28 comments:

Travel said...

Sometimes the search, is the destiny

Rommy said...

Good luck on your search! LOL, I feel like your search for a new labyrinth is its own sort of labyrinth-like journey.

Sixpence Notthewiser said...

I have never thought of doing something like this. I'm fascinated and I'm going to start looking for labyrinths near me.
Also, I want a peace pole. STAT.

XOXO

Martha said...

Too bad it's not kept up a little better. Glad you went to try it out. Looking forward to what you find next!

Parnassus said...

You are right; the pattern is really hard to discern. It looks like something proving the Vikings or perhaps aliens landed in St. Albert 1000 years ago.
--Jim

Tundra Bunny said...

If it's a Labryinth you seek, check out IKEA this week...

Mike said...

I tried to see the labyrinth on google maps but it doesn't show up.

Our church (my wifes') is an oasis church. Same thing as an "affirming" church.

Bob said...

It's really very pretty and peaceful, but also hard to see sometimes when walking.

Good luck with the search.

Linda said...

The disadvantages are a pity, because the location is nice and quiet. Good luck with your further search!

brewella deville said...

It's beautiful in its own way, more like an archaeological relic than a workaday labyrinth.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

labyrinth neglect...smh.

Boud said...

My local labyrinth is not the Chartres model. Its a smaller, less rigid design and I like it very much. Enough turns and retracings, but no awkward corners at all. Created in river rocks on wood mulch, it's friendly to walk. The only time it's tricky is when it gets drifted in leaves in the fall. Snow rules it out anyway. But that leaves plenty of time. Because of lockdown I haven't walked it for a while. Thanks for the reminder.

Marie Smith said...

Facebook had a labyrinth marked in the sand on a beach here recently. A beauty too.

Love the stones in that dried earth. Some things even survive drought.

Moving with Mitchell said...

Yep, I probably would have just headed haphazardly for the rock.

Guillaume said...

There's one in Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. I love it. Love labyrinths in general.

Joanne Noragon said...

Good luck. I imagine they're not easy to find, even with an internet search.

Richard said...

Do not be discouraged. Not everything lasts forever. Those people created a labyrinth as a community prayer.
It is beautiful. Maybe something happened.

peppylady (Dora) said...

I hope you find one, I would be SHOCKED if our town would have something likelabyrinth

Coffee is on and stay safe

Kirk said...

I'm not religious, but every now and then I go to an LGBTQ support group meeting held at an "affirming" church. The church doesn't sponsor the meeting, and the meeting itself is nonreligious, but the group is allowed to use the premises, which is nice.

As for the labyrinth, I kind of like its faded look, though I can understand why you might no want to use it more than once.

Janie Junebug said...

The church members probably have more than enough to do to keep up the building and so don't work on the labyrinth regularly.

Love,
Janie

Miss Val's Creations said...

What a fun thing to check out. It would take a lot of time to upkeep so it is more visible.

Adam said...

I'm not a fan of mazes

Lady M said...

The only labyrinth I like is one with David Bowie at the center.

Barbara said...

It sounded nice to have a little shade nearby but I can see how hard the bricks were to see. I look forward to seeing the next one.

e said...

Until you showed the bricks, I thought it was simply a lawn mown into a labyrinth. Nice that they have one.
If you are ever on the Oregon coast, there's a man who creates ephemeral labyrinths in the sand. They are very beautiful and very popular. (Pictures at 'circlesinthesand')

yellowdoggranny said...

you'll find it ..its calling you

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ e -- Yes, I've seen photos of his labyrinths on the internet. I just love how beautiful they are and how transient and impermanent. I should do a post on his work -- thanks for the idea!

Fundy Blue said...

What a lovely spot, Debra, even if it isn't the labyrinth you seek. I miss the United Church of Canada which was my favorite of all the denominations. I've never walked a labyrinth, but I did see one in James Bay, Victoria. I could probably use the discipline and meditations, but I'm too squirmy.