Chill out at Gorton Monastery

Labyrynth at Gorton Monastery manchester
This is just the quirky type of event I wanted to flag up when I started writing this blog. Gorton Monastery, which has just seen a massive restoration campaign, has just started offering a new twist to a relaxing Sunday walk.

Once a month, as part of the St Francis Sundays open days, visitors can now take part in a meditation walk on a full size canvas replica of the famous stone labyrinth set into the nave at Chartres Cathedral in France.

Elaine Griffiths, chief executive of The Monastery, said: “A
gentle, reflective walk on a labyrinth is a wonderful way to quiet the
mind, relax and allow your natural creative energy to flow. As you walk
into the centre you release any stress and worries and you feel calmer
as you walk out again. The whole experience is quite spiritual and
very uplifting and this is enhanced by being in such a special location
at The Monastery. The experience can be very therapeutic and is a great
way to clear the mind or get lost in thought. I thoroughly recommend
giving it a go.”

The press release from New East Manchester explains that a maze and a labyrinth may look similar but are very different. A
labyrinth has one winding pathway that takes you to the centre and back
out again. There are no dead ends and it’s designed to help you find

Edward Pugin, one of the leading architects of the day and whose father
Augustus was the architect for the Houses of Parliament, was
commissioned to design and build the imposing church and friary on
Gorton Lane by Franciscan monks in 1863.

The Franciscans left the site in 1989 and the building was finally
handed over to the care of the trust in 1996 after years of neglect. The Grade II monastery’s £6 million restoration was funded by major
grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, European Regional Development
Fund, English Heritage, Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA)
and the Architectural Heritage Fund. It is now a major conference centre, but is open to the public on Sundays.

The giant labyrinth is situated in the nave of The Monastery in Gorton, in East Manchester. Walks are to be held between 12-4pm on May 10, June 14, July 19, August 16 and September 20. A suggested donation to participate is £5 per person.

For more information on The Monastery or to book the venue or a tour call 0161 223 3211 or visit  The Monastery welcomes everyone from all faiths, background and beliefs.

One comment

  • May 6, 2009 - 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Hi, Yes Manchester Is Ace and so is this blog. Keep up the good work! Ray

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