A simple self guided walk with prayers and reflections for you to do as a family or with friends.
Discovery Church is a new idea, a creative adaption of our Forest Church.
Below is a self-guided reflective walk that can be done with family and friends depending on the current Government Guidance.
Anyone can lead a group, just put on Facebook or the church Whatsapp group when you are planning on going and how many spaces you have. While you are on the walk why not take some photos and share them with others to inspire them to have a go.
Location: Campbell Park, Central Milton Keynes
Distance: 2.8km with optional additional extensions.
Surface: Good paved paths for all the main route. Optional woodland routes are unpaved.
Suitable for buggys, wheelchairs and for cycling if you prefer.
Gradient: There is a steady rise for the first part of the walk with a steep hill leading up to the Beacon and a steep downhill section on the return path.
There is a resource to help you prepare for the walk plus resources for the each of the five reflection points along the main route and for the start and end of the journey. We have linked the reflections to the Bible readings and themes that Church Without Walls will be exploring during July and early August. We have also identified a number of optional activities to add to your walk.
The map below shows the route.
Preparation – Putting on your armour
Starting on 28 June and going through to 2 August we will be exploring some of the letters that Paul sent to the early Church giving them useful advice on living as a Christian Community. In the letter to the Ephesians (Chapter 6) Paul uses the image of putting on the armour of God to protect ourselves.
Ephesians 6:10-18 Good News Translation (GNT)
The Whole Armour of God
10 Finally, build up your strength in union with the Lord and by means of his mighty power. 11 Put on all the armor that God gives you, so that you will be able to stand up against the Devil's evil tricks. 12 For we are not fighting against human beings but against the wicked spiritual forces in the heavenly world, the rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers of this dark age. 13 So put on God's armor now! Then when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist the enemy's attacks; and after fighting to the end, you will still hold your ground.
14 So stand ready, with truth as a belt tight around your waist, with righteousness as your breastplate, 15 and as your shoes the readiness to announce the Good News of peace. 16 At all times carry faith as a shield; for with it you will be able to put out all the burning arrows shot by the Evil One. 17 And accept salvation as a helmet, and the word of God as the sword which the Spirit gives you. 18 Do all this in prayer, asking for God's help. Pray on every occasion, as the Spirit leads. For this reason keep alert and never give up; pray always for all God's people.
You won’t need armour to for this walk but think about what you might need to protect and sustain you:
- Wet weather coat and footwear if the weather looks like rain.
- Sunscreen and hat for sunny weather.
- Hand sanitizer
- Face mask (especially if using public transport)
- Mobile phone
- If cycling – a helmet
- Drink and or snack – there is a picnic/BBQ area near the start of the walk, marked on the map.
Dear Lord – guide me and protect me and everyone who is going on this walk. Open my mind to the things you will show me and the things we will learn together. AMEN
NOTE: There are no toilet facilities on this route, although when you reach the MK Rose you could go over to John Lewis where there are toilet facilities.
Action: Find a stone to carry with you on the walk… you will need it during one of the later stopping points where you will leave it.
By car: The closest car park is by the canal at the end of Silbury Boulevard. If this is full there is a large car park by the Pavillion & Parks Trust HQ building on the edge of the park. Both car parks are free of charge.
Google Map Pin: https://maps.app.goo.gl/HCANFSCuyxrguG2x5
By bicycle: The start of the route is about 3 miles from Broughton by bicycle.
By bus: The closest stop is the “Cricket Green West Roundabout” bus stop served by routes 1, 7, 21, 300, 320, A1 and A2 – Please double check if this stop is being used by the route you are planning to take as during the current restrictions some stops have been suspended by some routes.
Start – Circle Dance Sculpture “Come and join the circle”
Meet up at the living willow sculpture called “Circle Dance”. This is found near the car park by walking from the car park on the canal path with the canal on your left. The circle of willow trees is to the right of the path. One photograph was taken when it was new and the other recently, you can see how it has grown into a complete circle. The individual parts have grown together like the way communities and churches grow together over time.
We have often used the song “Come and join the circle” at Church without walls… reflect on this song and the sculpture as you wait for your group to gather, if you like watch the video of Kathy singing the song
Come and join the circle, come and take my hand.
Come and join the circle, come and be my friend.
Gather round and see what the world can be.
Come and join the circle,
come and share God’s word with me.
Moving On – 150M to the first stop:
Leave the Willow Circle by walking along the canal path, keeping the canal on your left. The path rises upwards and after about 80M you will reach a cross roads in the path. On you left is a red-brick bridge over the canal. Turn right putting the canal bridge behind you and the path rises gently uphill to where you will see the metal Head sculpture which is the first stop.
1. Head Sculpture “One Body – Many Parts”
“The body is a unit made up of many parts” 1 Corinthians 12 [CWW Theme 28 June]
The Bible passage says that, as a community, we are like the human body which is made up of many different parts that have to work together. Not everything can be an eye or an ear – all must do their part for the body to work well. We sometimes think of the head as the most important part of the body – here we have a sculpture of just a head but without a body is it useless.
Reflection: Imagine the body that belongs to the head is stretched out on the ground – look down the hill towards the bridge, the two trees either side of the bridge are the body’s feet sticking up. The body’s arm are stretched out along the paths to the right and left of the head with a park bench where its hands are. As you look down the hill towards the feet on the left side you will see a group of trees where the body’s heart would be. Now visit each part of the body and think about people in our community that come to mind:
FEET Think of a person who helps to keep us moving forward and who gives energy to you.
HANDS Sit on the bench and think about the people who do the physical tasks and hard work
HEART Remember people who have the gift of showing love and concern and compassion
HEAD Think of those who have the vision to look ahead, those who always have an ear to listen and those who plan and organise the affairs of the community.
Moving On – 400M to the next stopping point. Take the path that goes from the back of the head and rises gently up hill. You will cross a bridge and continue along the path with the cricket pitch on your right and woodland on your left till you get to the Totem Pole sculpture.
2. Onwards and Upwards (Totem Pole Sculpture) “More than conquerors”
“…in all things we are more than conquerors” Romans 8:37 [CWW Theme 26 July]
Watch the video of the refection if you wish.
Look at this joyful sculpture. The highest figure is “on top of the world”. The Romans reading says that because of what Jesus has done, nothing can defeat us, we are more than conquerors.
Reflection: Think of a time you felt like that figure at the top of the totem pole. Also think about the people who, like the other figures in the totem pole, helped you reach that high point.
Action: Take a photo/selfie using the pose from the figure at the top of the pole.
Share: If you wish, as you walk along, share with someone about the time you felt on top of the world.
Optional route/Activity: Woodland Walk
Take the path throught the woods and enjoy the trees and birds. There are many paths but it is not a large area so you should not get lost!
Moving On – 400M to the next stopping point. Continue along the path you were on past the sculpture. The sign post directs you to “Open-air theatre/Beacon/City Centre”. Keep walking on the path with the woodland on your left and the rolling grass meadow on your right. Stop when you reach a cross roads in the path with a tree and a circular bench in the middle of the path cross roads.
3. Light Pyramid Long, High, Deep and Wide
“…grasp how wide and long and high and deep is God’s love which enables us to do more than we can imagine” Ephesians 3: 18-20 [CWW Theme 12 July]
Pause at the cicular bench around a tree at a crossroads in the pathway at the bottom of the hill.
Reflection (a): Which route will you take to reach the top? Children may think nothing of rushing headlong up the shortest route across the grass and up the steep slope. The path takes a longer route but it still gets you to the same place. As you climb the hill think about a descision you have to make – what are the options? Is there a different way that you haven’t thought of?
Reflection (B): At the light Pyramid you are standing at the highest point in Milton Keynes – imagine if you stood in this place just 55 years ago – it would have just been a rural Buckinghamshire field, imagine if someone told you that a bright new city of 300,000 people would be built around this spot, you would probably think it impossible. The reading from Ephesians reminds us that working as a community with God’s love we can do things beyond our imagination.
Action: Look out across the view and think of a favourite place or person you long to visit when you are next able.
Share: As you walk on, if you wish, share with the people in your group the place or person you were thinking of.
Moving On – 200M to the next stopping point. With the light pyramid behind you take the path straight ahead that leads towards the Shopping Centre. The path slopes down gently to lead you into the circular area known as the MK Rose.
4. MK Rose “Excellent and Praisworthy thoughts”
“…Whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things” Phillipians 4:8 [CWW Theme 19 July]
In his letter to the Phillipians Paul told the community to think about things that are noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. It does us good to remember these things in life. The MK Rose is a place to remember and celebrate important people, dates and events in the life of the community of this young city.
Reflection: Take time to explore the pillars in the rose. Did you feel a connection with any particular memorial? Did you learn anything new from reading the inscriptions?
Action: Take a photograph of one of the pillars that you would like to share with the CWW community on our facebook page.
Children (and adults) can also see if they can find the 5 pillars pictured below.
Share: If you could add a pillar to the Rose what would it be? Share your ideas with your group – did you know that the Parks Trust welcome nominations for new pillars from the public.
B: Optional route/Activity: Shop visit
Budgens supermarket on Avebury Boulevard has snacks and a coffee machine!
C: Optional route/Activity: Explore the maze
Close by the Rose is a small maze made up with hedging.
D: Optional route/Activity: Explore the labirynth
Surrounded by shrubs and trees you will find a labirynth which is fun to follow… the path takes a long way to get you from the outside to the sphere structure in the middle.
Moving On – 500M to the next stopping point. Leave the Rose using the path that heads towards the shopping centre and almost immediately you will come to a circular structure made with hedging – it is a compass with the letters W, S, E and N made from box hedge. Turn right along the redway path going North. After about 100m there is a redway T-junction and you should turn right through an area with shrubs and trees. The path will begin to go downhill and you should see the light pyramid rising up to your right. As you come towards the bottom of the hill look-out on your left for the next stopping point – a granite rock sculpture showing a horse carving on it.
5. Animals in war memorial “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good”
“…Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good… Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn” Romans 12:9, 15 [CWW Theme 2 August]
Animals in War by Ronald Rae (1998) Gifted by the sculptor in 2015 to the people of Milton Keynes in memory of Edna Read (1929-2012) who was an active promoter of public art in the new city. Animals in War is a granite memorial of all animals that have died in wars, in particular the horses that died in their millions in World War I. The soldier with half an arm missing and wearing a gas mask is a reference to the horrors of chemical warfare.
This scupture reminds of us the great suffering of many people especially through war. It is always amazing to hear vicitims of suffering extending forgiveness to those who made them suffer. It can be hard to forgive but it helps us to find freedom and allows us to move on.
Reflection/Action: Leave the stone you have been carrying at the foot of this sculpture both as a memorial to those who have suffered and as a prayer to put down any burden you have carried for too long.
Moving On – 800M to the finishing point. Carry on down the path you have been on which will take you back to the cricket pitch. Take the path to the left around the edge of the cricket pitch and carry straight on where the path will lead you back to the canal-side car park where the route started.
E: Optional route/Activity: Explore the City Gardens
To the left of the main route you have the City Gardens – a beautiful piece of the park with a Japanese influenced design. Take time to enjoy this space and visit the striking “Chain Reaction” sculpture at the top of a series of steps.
6: May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you..
Well done – you have completed our first Discovery Church. At the end of our gatherings we share, say or sing this blessing. Watch the video if you want to listen to Kathy it singing for us.
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, where-ever he may send you,
May he guide you through the wilderness; protect you through the storm,
May he bring you home rejoicing at the wonders he has shown you,
May he bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
Reflection/Action: Share your experience of Discovery Church and pass on any comments or suggestions to help plan further routes.