St Luke’s in the City Anglican parish encourage spiritual growth, especially during a time of healing and recovery in Christchurch.
St Luke’s is for:
- Searchers after spiritual truth, seekers who are open to a living spirituality
- Those engaged in various parts of the church who are looking for spiritual nurture and development
- Those on the edge of the church who are looking for a spirituality sufficiently open to the Spirit breathing through their own experience
- Those looking for a way, for spiritual practice, rather than doctrinal information or church membership
185 Empty Chairs Project
PEACEFUL AND LANDSCAPED NEW HOME HOME FOR '185 EMPTY CHAIRS'
Jonny Edwards Nov 06, 2020
Christchurch’s 185 empty chairs will become part of a “spiritual oasis” as plans emerge for a new site and $50,000 in plantings and landscaping.
The Peter Majendie artwork was originally installed on February 22, 2012 at site of the former Oxford Terrace Baptist Church on Madras St.
Each chair represents a victim of the February 2011 earthquake.
The piece was later moved to Cashel and Madras streets, but needs to be moved to make room for the planned $473m Christchurch stadium.
On November 17, the chairs will be packed into a shipping container and taken to a new location – the former site of St Luke’s in the City on Manchester and Kilmore streets.
Plans for the new site include tree plantings, laying gravel and other landscaping.
A bell tower still exists for the church, but the building was demolished after the earthquake, leaving the area mostly empty.
The Side Door Arts Trust, which is responsible for the piece, has planned a $50,000 landscaping project for the new location.
It includes the laying a pad of crushed metal, topped with pebbles, as well as tree planting and grass work. The chairs will surround trees and grass which making up a “contemplation garden”.
The plan is to finish this by February, at which point the chairs will be taken out of the container and installed at the new location. Majendie said the location fit well as the church was going through a process of what to do with the site.
The church is in the process of forming a lease, which is expected to be for two years. The long-term future of the art piece was still uncertain, but if the church had not formulated plans by the end of the lease there could be potential to roll it over, he said.“We’ll see what happens in the next few years.”
The installation became important to many people, he said. “Through it I have got to know a number of families who lost people in the earthquake who have said how it transcends the earthquake in a sense.”
Church vicar’s warden Jenny Drury said it was a “win-win” while the church “re-couped” after former plans for the site were put on hold. “We thought it would be the right thing to do. It will be the spiritual oasis of the city. A place to sit without people breathing down their neck.”
The trust will pay no rent, but take over the rates. It plans to fundraise to meet landscaping and other costs.
St Luke’s Labyrinth is a replica of the 13th century Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth.
Originally made for St Luke’s and commissioned in 2000 it was lost in the 22 February 2011 earthquake.
An outdoor Labyrinth was constructed using masonry recovered from the demolition of St Luke’s Church building.
The Labyrinth is an ancient path of wisdom, healing and peace, found in many religious traditions and cultures, and dating back at least 5,000 years.
The distinguishing features of the Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth are 11 circuits, the turns arranged in 4 quadrants, lunations or teeth around the perimeter, and a 6-petal rosette in the centre.
Walking a Labyrinth is a form of wordless prayer, a spiritual pilgrimage. Requiring about 30-45 minutes to walk a distance of almost ½ km. A Labyrinth has only one path that leads slowly to the centre and back again by the same path.
Many people find that walking this path naturally quietens the mind and helps them become more centred and in touch with their spiritual nature.
The Labyrinth is on the corner of Manchester & Kilmore Streets, Christchurch. St Luke’s Labyrinth is available for all to walk, at any time, with occasional guided meditations.