In 1999, a small group of St. Luke’s parishioners gathered to explore their interest in labyrinth walking. Once they shared the calming experiences of walking the labyrinth with their fellow parishioners, interest in building a permanent outdoor labyrinth in connection with the Memorial Garden located on church grounds grew. The labyrinth design is based on a 13th Century turf labyrinth on the grounds of Breamore House in England and is similar to the design at Chartres Cathedral in France. Turf was chosen to best harmonize with the Memorial Garden St. Lukes and the wetlands along Old Georgetown Road as well as for the committee members who wanted to be able walk barefoot and feel the earth under their feet. The Labyrinth was completed in 2001.
Today, the labyrinth continues to offer a space that allows parishioners and people in the community the opportunity to reconnect themselves with each other, and with the natural world. A finger (braille) labyrinth is also available for those unable to walk the labyrinth. St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, nestled amid shopping centers and byways in Northern Bethesda, has numerous gardens in addition to the labyrinth where you can relax and meditate. The church’s grounds are open to the public year-round, but the gardens are most spectacular during the spring and summer months.