The labyrinth is an ancient, pre-Christian symbol dating back to 2500 to 2000 BCE. Grace Church is fortunate to be the home to an exact replica of the labyrinth first constructed at Chartres Cathedral in France in about the year 1200 CE, which flourished in Gothic cathedrals in Europe and the British Isles. These labyrinths were built during a time in which travel was dangerous. Pilgrimages to religious sites were inadvisable, and walking the labyrinth was considered to be an alternative to taking a spiritual pilgrimage. At their height, there were at least 23 labyrinths in cathedrals. Unfortunately, many were later destroyed. Why, you might ask? When labyrinths symbolizing pilgrimages flourished, that suggests to us that these people believed that they had access to God--they could go to God directly and not have to go through another person or institution--that institution being the church. So, the church moved in the direction of trying to take control of that access to God and started destroying labyrinths.
Grace Church's Chartres labyrinth was constructed in 2007 and has been adopted by GraceWorks as our symbol. The labyrinth is symbolic of the journey into the heart of God, our true spiritual home. We invite all who work with us to join us on that journey, and we hope that, through our work together, we will all grow in our knowledge and awareness of God's love for us. Begin the journey!