Carlisle Cathedral’s Schools’ Labyrinth on Tour

12th July 2022

The Cathedral’s Schools’ Labyrinth is an innovative art project that has brought together the creative skills of children from more than 60 Cumbrian schools under the theme of ‘Journey and Rest’ which lie at the heart of the cathedral’s anniversary programme.

Carlisle Cathedral’s Schools’ Labyrinth has gone on tour – part of the its 900th anniversary celebrations.

A joint project between the cathedral and the diocese of Carlisle, they worked with Cumbrian artist Abby Kilfedder, and local schools who put their own unique designs on large foam tiles to create an interactive labyrinth on which visitors are invited to walk.

Peter Barfoot, Headteacher at St Mark’s Church of England School in Natland, whose school contributed to the project, said:

“The Labyrinth is such a powerful cultural idea for linking Church schools across the Diocese. Each tile is filled with local images and symbols, special to individual schools and pupils and yet a simple pathway joins them together. 

“A prayer walk around Cumbria in just a few steps,’ he added.

Carlisle Cathedral’s Schools’ Labyrinth on Tour

The labyrinth, which has been on show in the cathedral’s newly restored Fratry Hall during June, will now tour the county of Cumbria, starting at Holy Trinity Church in Kendal. It will stay in Kendal throughout July and August before touring other locations in Cumbria for the rest of the year.

The Revd Canon Dr Benjamin Carter, Canon Warden at Carlisle Cathedral, said:

“Through our anniversary year we wanted to find ways to engage with as many people as possible across the county to celebrate the life of the Cathedral. 

“What better way than working with the energy and creativity of our church schools to help bring to life this extraordinary interactive labyrinth, which includes contributions from communities from Lanercost to Ireleth, and Dent to Maryport.”

Charlotte Tudway, the Director of Education for Carlisle Diocese, said:

“It has been a privilege to collaborate with Carlisle Cathedral on this exciting project, which has reached schools throughout the Diocese. 

The Archbishop of York, The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Stephen Cottrell, the Lord-Lieutenant of Cumbria, Mrs Claire Hensman, and over 700 schoolchildren have already walked the Labyrinth whjile it was installed in the Cathedral’s Fratry Hall.

The School’s Labyrinth has been sponsored by Rathbones Investment Management and is part of the Cathedral’s programme of celebratory events to mark the 900th anniversary of its foundation. The programme of worship, events, talks, concerts and exhibitions is themed around Journey and Rest to reflect the Cathedral’s role as place of rest and pilgrimage throughout its history.

The principal sponsor for Carlisle Cathedral’s 900th anniversary programme is Hayward Tod estate agents, based in Carlisle, with many of the events in the programme supported by grants from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Friends of Carlisle Cathedral. The events take place in and around the Cathedral including The Fratry which reopened in 2020 following a major restoration project for the former medieval dining hall including a new cafe extension.

For the full programme of events visit the Carlisle cathedral website here.