Auckland Cathedral of the Holy Trinity is the spiritual centre and focus of the Diocese, city and region of Auckland. It is a dynamic and active worship community; a living space for music, art, culture, architecture and learning.
The Cathedral Precinct in Parnell includes Holy Trinity Cathedral and St Mary’s, the historic former cathedral church. It is home to a memorial garden, labyrinth and “Mountain Fountain” which provide space for contemplation and reflection.
"Auckland City has another permanent, outside, labyrinth thanks to redevelopment of the grounds around Holy Trinity Cathedral in Parnell. The grass labyrinth is situated between St Mary’s-in-Holy-Trinity, the old wooden church, and Parnell Rd. You can use it whenever you want."
The labyrinth is a seven-circuit classical labyrinth, but elongated in an oval shape. The grassy paths lie between raised grassy banks and the soft grass seems to invite you to walk without shoes to feel the texture.
corner St Stephens Avenue and Parnell Road,
Availability: Always open
Phone: +64 9 303-9500
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The Trinity Garden and Columbarium
"The Trinity Garden is located in the grounds of Auckland Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Parnell. The Garden was designed by Jacky Bowring of Christchurch.
The Garden is a space for memory, contemplation and celebration that provides a place symbolic for people of faith, with relevance for a range of cultures. A consistent design element is that of a circle within a square.
A grass labyrinth on the Parnell Road frontage invites you to take part in the reflective moments offered by the Garden. In the designer’s words, “it provides an interface with the busy street while also allowing for an interaction and conversation that will enhance the life of the neighbourhood”.
A mound provides a further spiritual connection with memory and the passing of loved ones, while providing a link to the volcanic cones and their remnants that are part of the Auckland landscape.
Moving on you come to the grove and columbarium. The grove includes historic oak trees with some additional planting. Three columbarium columns here provide for the placement of ashes. A Gathering Area, with a flowing water source, allows services to be held beside the columns while seating provides places for families to sit.
From there you move to the pool terrace to the east of St Mary’s and behind the High Altar of the Cathedral. At a later stage, a chapel will be built here and, when this is done, a contemplation pool will be placed on the terrace - the final element of the Garden. The terrace looks out directly to Maungakiekie/One Tree Hill - a significant landmark for Richard Toy in his design of the Cathedral. The pool will provide a place of calm and reflection as well as a visual link between the interior of the chapel and the Garden.
Jacky Bowring writes, “The overall impression of the Trinity Garden is one of a simple green space. It seeks to provide a tableau on which all visitors may invent their own memorial rituals and contemplative experiences, rather than to direct and dictate the use of the space. Through appealing to four enduring emblems of landscapes of memory - labyrinths, mounds, groves and pools - the garden resonates with eternal ideas of space and time.”
This first stage of the work has been supported through funds made available-from the Trinity Garden Festival.
The columbarium occupies a central position in The Trinity Garden. Its location provides a peaceful setting where you can come to pay homage to your loved ones."
The labyrinth was built and is maintained by Natural Habitats.
"A project of multiple stages Natural Habitats was first involved in the delivery of the Trinity Garden and columbarium, which features a range of hard (concrete paths, stairs and brick wall) and soft landscape works.
Upon completion of these landscapes we went onto provide advice and construct the delicate grass labyrinth on the Parnell Road frontage. They labyrinth designed by Jacky Bowring is intended to be used for prayer, ritual and spiritual growth. Creating the mounds was delicate work and our master landscapers worked carefully to ensure they didn’t collapse and people didn’t walk all over them.
Our specialist teams were also responsible for drainage and lighting and irrigation works. Now our care department is responsible for nurturing the Cathedral’s grounds to ensure they continue to look their best."
More photos of the labyrinth are on the Natural Habitats