The Labyrinth, St Mary’s Abbey, Museum Gardens
Tuesday 30 May
Meet 11am, and again at 2pm, Holy Trinity Church, Micklegate
Join a monastic guide, Brother Thomas, on a special walking performance from Holy Trinity Church on Micklegate to a medieval Labyrinth in the beautiful grounds of St Mary’s Abbey in the Museum Gardens.
Experience the life of a Benedictine Monk by walking in the places and the ways they once lived. On route from the Holy Trinity Church, you will meet a number of holy and not-so-holy characters, including St Benedict, founder of the order, a grumpy ferryman preventing you crossing the river Ouse, and Brother Richard, the Infirmerer, who will test you on your knowledge of monastic cures. Finally, walk the Labyrinth in one of York’s most beautiful historic settings in the mindset of a medieval choir monk – peaceful, prayerful and meditative.
The Labyrinth has been mown specially in the Museum Gardens lawn area to the rear of the ruins of St Mary’s Church and will be in place for one week only until Thursday 1 June. You can visit and experience it for yourself before and after the walks – it’s a truly wonderful and peaceful experience.
Sincere thanks to York Museums Trust for allowing us to use this space.
Meet the monks! Brother Thomas and the Abbott
About Thomas Frere
York based actor, Thomas Frere, has performed in numerous theatres throughout the land. His other passion is Labyrinths. During his time as Associate Director with North Country Theatre, he and Director Nobby Dimon started creating Labyrinths at various Monasteries, Abbeys and historic sites to celebrate the association of some monastic orders with walking and meditation. The company’s previous educational work at places like Fountains Abbey fed into this and they began to develop the idea so that walkers could meet ‘monks’, hear spiritual music and experience the discipline of life as a medieval monk as they walked.
Since first mowing a rough grass Labyrinth for the Richmond Walking Festival some 10 years ago, they have gone on to develop more sophisticated patterns, mowing in venues such as Rievaulx Abbey, Whitby Abbey, Lindisfarne Priory, Kiplin Hall and the Wakefield Wellyfest, and laying out diverse patterns with rope, paint or tape at Barton Festival, in York Minster and at Mount Grace Priory.