Small Fire logo

Labyrinth | St. Paul's Cathedral | March 2000

See the Labyrinth website for details of the stations and liturgy.

Participants carry music players and listen to the music and meditations on headphones as they walk the labyrinth.

Labyrinth in the south transept of St. Paul's Cathedral. This photograph and the next two are taken from the famous Whispering Gallery below the dome.

The memorial on the left is to Cornwallis; on the right is Lord Nelson. The unique pattern of this labyrinth was derived from the diagonal checkerboard pattern of the floor in the transept. At the time of design it was possible that we would have to tape it out directly on the floor so a conventional circular pattern would not have worked.

The central space is a place of prayer, with candle, bread and wine. Above it are 'Letting Go' with pebbles and water, and 'Planet' with video and seed-planting. On the right is the mirror of 'Self'. The visitors' book is upper left. The CD track numbers are marked on the floor to aid the walkers. Photo © Gordon Giles

View from the entrance to the labyrinth. Left, 'Planet' with TVs and seed-planting. Centre, 'Letting go' with yellow bucket and pebbles. Next, 'Holy Space', and the visitors' book on the right. In the background, the mirror of 'Self' and the laptop of 'Others'.

The sandpit in the foreground is 'Impressions'. Make a footprint and wonder "what will be left of us when we've left?"

'Hurts' in the foreground with tables and dustbin. Write or draw your hurts, put them in the bin and journey on. Behind is 'Distractions' which features a map with compass and magnets. The sleeping bag, boots and kettle are just scene-setting!

Each participant is in their own sound-world which guides them through the labyrinth.


'Noise' is about quietening down. The video is of an oscilloscope line. The Bishop of Willesden watches it.

The yellow bucket and pebbles belong to 'Letting Go'. Imagine the stone contains your cares and worries. Drop it into the water to symbolise letting them go into the lap of God.

The 'Others' station. Click a candle and it lights up with a little flame. State of the art Flash animation in 2000!

The cathedral has 5000 visitors a day. However labyrinth walkers were in their own sound worlds and could not hear them - the rest of the cathedral was a silent backdrop.

It was wonderful to lie on the Labyrinth and look up into Wren's amazing dome.

At the end of the labyrinth's last day, the team went into the darkened cathedral to take it away.

There was enough time for some members of the team to walk it, who had not been able to visit in the daytime while it was running. At the time we thought it might never run again...

Kings College London February 2001 >>

small candle graphic