Prayer Labyrinth

The Labyrinth is an ancient prayer aid that was designed to engage your whole body in the act of prayer. As early as the 4th century, Christian churches had paths on the floor for people to walk as they prayed. Labyrinths should not be confused with mazes or the Cretan labyrinth of Greek mythology, in which there are many paths that confuse people who wander them. Prayer labyrinths have only one path that winds back and forth until it reaches the centre. When you walk the labyrinth your only choices are how fast to walk and your intention for walking. You surrender your control over where you are going since you follow the only route available to you. In this way, your walk becomes like the Christian journey, in which we surrender our self-will to follow the path that God has laid out for us. When we follow in the footsteps of Christ, we are led to God who is the centre of our lives.

Willowgrove’s Labyrinth is a seven circuit, 14 turn labyrinth, based on the Chartres labyrinth. Midway between the entrance and the centre of the labyrinth is a 'heart stone' that is approached four times on the path to the centre, once from each direction. This beautiful stone can be used to place candles, mementoes, or prayer intentions during a labyrinth walk. The stone itself is an original foundation stone from one of the old Grove homestead buildings. (Willowgrove purchased the farm in 1968 from the Grove family.)

The Labyrinth is located on a lovely secluded part of the property. The approach down the hill from the parking lot, over the little foot bridge, along the stream, and through a grove of trees brings you to the entrance of the labyrinth which faces eastward and toward an old chestnut tree. The seclusion, the trees, the stream, the occasional wandering cows on the other side of the rail fence makes the Labyrinth a perfect spot for retreat and meditation.

Facilitated Labyrinth Prayer Walks

The Labyrinth is available for group facilitated prayer walks. The fee is $75.00 an hour if a group has already rented the Willowgrove property for a full or half day use. If a group just wants the facilitated prayer walk and will not be staying to use other parts of the Willowgrove property, the fee is $5.00/person. The experience works best for groups of up to 30 people.

Willowgrove will be hosting a Labyrinth Prayer Walk during the months of June through October on the second Sunday of the month at 7pm. The fee will be “pay what you wish” by donation and is open to the community.

Bio of Prayer Labyrinth Facilitator

Our labyrinth and prayer walk teacher is Cam Kaufman-Frey. He has studied the Bible, theology and Christian spirituality at Canadian Mennonite Bible College and Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. He served as a pastor for 19 years and has also worked as a chaplain. He has walked three different labyrinths in Ontario and two in the U.S. Cam grew up on a farm and has always found praying outdoors to be very important to his spiritual life.