Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Christmas Journey of Peace

Latimer Square has a reputation as a more seedy part of Christchurch. It is a central city park that needs light and invites prayer that all of humankind will indeed find Christmas peace.

This Christmas, visitors to Latimer Square will encounter a 24 hour night light in the form of an outdoor Peace Labyrinth. The aim is to provide a still point in the midst of the busy Christmas season.

The Peace Labyrinth will consist of 700 straw hay bales, arranged in the pattern of a labyrinth, an ancient practice which invites one to find peace as they walk a guided journey, during which they encounter various stations focused on themes including peace at home, at work, in the environment and with God. A stable at the centre of the Labyrinth will proclaim the centrality that is found in the Light of the world.

The Peace Labyrinth is a continuation of the ministry of conceptual artists Pete and Joyce Majendie, in partnership with Opawa Baptist, Christchurch City Council and other local churches.

Their outdoor Christmas art installations have been the Majendie’s Christmas gift to the city of Christchurch for the last ten years. In the last three years they have moved location from Opawa Baptist into the central city, enabling them to reach far more people. Over 8,000 people visited their Christmas Journey, located in Christchurch Square, in 2005.


The Majendie’s ministry is based on using interactive art stations. Such forms of mission are essential in a culture in which so much contemporary communication is visual and participatory. A refugee station invites people to sit in a boat and consider what one thing they would take with them if they had to flee as a refugee to Egypt. A census station invites people to place a pin on a world map, indicating how far they had travelled to get to the Christmas journey. Rob Kilpatrick, then Director of tranzsend, upon seeing the world map in 2005, commented that the Christmas Journey was reaching more countries than the entire ministry of the tranzsend missionary society.

Thousands of “driftwood people” will be scattered around Christchurch shops and given to Christchurch schools. Made from driftwood, and fixed with two eyes, to look like people, they will come with a tag attached. “If you find me, please take me to the Peace Labyrinth.”


A website is being developed that will offer practical peace resources, including ways to bring peace into our relationships with family, work, creation and God. A promotional video, of the “driftwood people” moving from work and play toward Latimer Square, has been shot and finance is being sought to show this in local movie theatres.

In 2007, the Peace Labyrinth will be operating in Latimer Square from 7pm Friday 21st December continuously through to 9am Monday 24th December. All are welcome.

Posted by steve at 09:54 PM


  1. That is so cool! I certainly pray it is a very blessed time for all who participate/witness it

    Comment by Randall — November 14, 2007 @ 8:40 am

  2. sounds great! make sure you take some photos

    Comment by jonny — November 15, 2007 @ 5:07 am

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