Labyrinth will provide space for reflection

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A new peaceful garden has been created at Peterborough Cathedral to allow residents a quiet space to reflect.

The cathedral gardeners, Les Featherstone and Tanya Simons, have been working very hard over the summer with their team of volunteers to create a new Garden of Reflection, complete with medieval style labyrinth, behind the Cathedral Visitor Centre.

The garden has been designed with care to show visitors more of the spiritual and domestic life of the cathedral community, from ancient times up to the present day.

The labyrinth created over the summer is a reminder that in the Middle Ages labyrinths were used by Christians as a symbol of the path to salvation. The idea was, and still is, that walkers slowly follow its twists and turns as they quieten their minds and listen to God.

Around the labyrinth, four beds will be planted with the groups of herbs that would have been used by the monks of Peterborough Abbey in medieval times. There will be herbs for dyeing, stewing and fumigating, for cooking, for brewing and for use in medicine.

The gardeners have been assisted by art and design students at Peterborough Regional College who have created wall tiles, inspired by medieval decoration and the herbs that will be in the garden. These will adorn the walls of the garden when it is completed.

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Paying tribute to the team of volunteers, Les and Tanya said: “They have worked so hard in all weathers - blazing hot sunshine and pouring rain. They really are the ‘A Team’ and we couldn’t have done it without them!”

The finishing touches to the garden - which has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund - are now being added.