A-maze-ing Sussex field with message from above

Peter Grunner, who created the message in willow

How the message looks from the ground

First published in News

A heavenly message which can only be read from above has remained virtually unnoticed for more than 20 years.

Peter Gunner spent decades carefully pruning specially laid out willow cuttings which map out the words from the Bible passage John 14:6: “Jesus said to him: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life’.”

The 62-year-old wanted to create a maze in a Sussex field of his favourite verse from the Bible that people could lose themselves in as a metaphor for life.

He said: “You walk around in it but you don’t really know what your life is going to look like from above.”

The Christian mapped out the words on a computer before taking to the field at his home, Burchetts Farm, near Chiddingly, with a tape measure and some string.

But his first attempt in the 1990s grew in a “thistly mess” – so he pulled it all up and started again.

He still regularly goes out with secateurs to cut the letters of the verse into shape and has also put a selection of Bible verses on posts around the planting.

He only saw his creation from above for the first time when his police officer neighbour gave him an aerial picture taken from a force helicopter.

The message in the field has remained virtually unnoticed – bar a few comments from microlight pilots – until The Argus was alerted to it on Google Earth.

Use the bar to the side of the map to zoom in and out

As well as revealing his masterpiece to the world, the aerial images have highlighted slight mistakes to Mr Gunner – he admits the top of the J is slightly wonky and the ‘a’ in ‘am’ is slightly askew.

There is a footpath along the side of the field, so people walking across the East Sussex countryside can stumble across the creation.

But Mr Gunner said the only person to realise the plantings form letters from the ground was a young girl with autism.

He said: “It’s a sort of maze but I haven’t very often got lost in it because it’s quite open.”

Mr Gunner and his wife Faith also wrote the word ‘rejoice’ in the roof of their barn in different coloured tiles when it had to be replaced.

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Comments (24)

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11:26am Thu 7 Feb 13

gheese77 says...

If any aliens see that they we know for sure that we are a backward planet that still believe in silly old superstions
If any aliens see that they we know for sure that we are a backward planet that still believe in silly old superstions gheese77
  • Score: 0

11:37am Thu 7 Feb 13

Crystal Ball says...

gheese77 wrote:
If any aliens see that they we know for sure that we are a backward planet that still believe in silly old superstions
Any passing aliens would most likely give this planet a wide berth for numerous reasons.
[quote][p][bold]gheese77[/bold] wrote: If any aliens see that they we know for sure that we are a backward planet that still believe in silly old superstions[/p][/quote]Any passing aliens would most likely give this planet a wide berth for numerous reasons. Crystal Ball
  • Score: 0

11:59am Thu 7 Feb 13

kkj says...

I'm slightly amused that the above posters don't believe in god but appear to believe in aliens.
I'm slightly amused that the above posters don't believe in god but appear to believe in aliens. kkj
  • Score: 0

12:13pm Thu 7 Feb 13

whereisthe...? says...

Hahahaaha! Some people are so dumb. "Any aliens would think we're mad"....

Not seeing irony of criticising others for 'wild' beliefs...


...While looking like am wild-eyed alien believer...


Funny how its always the vehemently anti-religious who usually believe in the most mental things...

(ie, 'Animals are more important than people, Astrology, homoeopathy, believing its fine to let your kids go school in a onesie', etc...!)
Hahahaaha! Some people are so dumb. "Any aliens would think we're mad".... Not seeing irony of criticising others for 'wild' beliefs... ...While looking like am wild-eyed alien believer... Funny how its always the vehemently anti-religious who usually believe in the most mental things... (ie, 'Animals are more important than people, Astrology, homoeopathy, believing its fine to let your kids go school in a onesie', etc...!) whereisthe...?
  • Score: 0

12:20pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Vigilia says...

The only thing of any importance is that he has done something positive for mankind by planting trees on land he owns.
The only thing of any importance is that he has done something positive for mankind by planting trees on land he owns. Vigilia
  • Score: 0

12:28pm Thu 7 Feb 13

getThisCoalitionOut says...

How interesting that an autistic person realised from the ground that there were words spelt out and no one else did?! Makes you think.
How interesting that an autistic person realised from the ground that there were words spelt out and no one else did?! Makes you think. getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: 0

12:53pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Fercri Sakes says...

kkj wrote:
I'm slightly amused that the above posters don't believe in god but appear to believe in aliens.
Do you not believe in life outside this planet? Statistics are against you.
[quote][p][bold]kkj[/bold] wrote: I'm slightly amused that the above posters don't believe in god but appear to believe in aliens.[/p][/quote]Do you not believe in life outside this planet? Statistics are against you. Fercri Sakes
  • Score: 0

1:25pm Thu 7 Feb 13

mimseycal says...

What statistics? I'll grant you that considering the size of the entire universe it seems inconceivable that we are the sole planet bearing life but surely that is probability and not statistics?

The two related but distinct academic fields are often confused. To summarize: Probability theory enables us to find the consequences of a given ideal world, while statistical theory enables us to to measure the extent to which our world is ideal.
What statistics? I'll grant you that considering the size of the entire universe it seems inconceivable that we are the sole planet bearing life but surely that is probability and not statistics? The two related but distinct academic fields are often confused. To summarize: Probability theory enables us to find the consequences of a given ideal world, while statistical theory enables us to to measure the extent to which our world is ideal. mimseycal
  • Score: 0

1:43pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Hovelady says...

kkj wrote:
I'm slightly amused that the above posters don't believe in god but appear to believe in aliens.
seriously? you compare the belief in the the science of actual physical life possibly existing on other planets to the belief in an invisible, beardy bloke who lives in the sky?

Hahahahaha!
[quote][p][bold]kkj[/bold] wrote: I'm slightly amused that the above posters don't believe in god but appear to believe in aliens.[/p][/quote]seriously? you compare the belief in the the science of actual physical life possibly existing on other planets to the belief in an invisible, beardy bloke who lives in the sky? Hahahahaha! Hovelady
  • Score: 0

1:48pm Thu 7 Feb 13

billy goat-gruff says...

Reg Presley RIP would be impressed!
Reg Presley RIP would be impressed! billy goat-gruff
  • Score: 0

1:50pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Purple55 says...

Hovelady wrote:
kkj wrote:
I'm slightly amused that the above posters don't believe in god but appear to believe in aliens.
seriously? you compare the belief in the the science of actual physical life possibly existing on other planets to the belief in an invisible, beardy bloke who lives in the sky?

Hahahahaha!
Well said Hovelady :)
[quote][p][bold]Hovelady[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]kkj[/bold] wrote: I'm slightly amused that the above posters don't believe in god but appear to believe in aliens.[/p][/quote]seriously? you compare the belief in the the science of actual physical life possibly existing on other planets to the belief in an invisible, beardy bloke who lives in the sky? Hahahahaha![/p][/quote]Well said Hovelady :) Purple55
  • Score: 0

2:34pm Thu 7 Feb 13

kkj says...

Fercri Sakes wrote:
kkj wrote:
I'm slightly amused that the above posters don't believe in god but appear to believe in aliens.
Do you not believe in life outside this planet? Statistics are against you.
What statistics would they be? The only one of relevance is the number of proven instances of extraterrestrial life, zero.
[quote][p][bold]Fercri Sakes[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]kkj[/bold] wrote: I'm slightly amused that the above posters don't believe in god but appear to believe in aliens.[/p][/quote]Do you not believe in life outside this planet? Statistics are against you.[/p][/quote]What statistics would they be? The only one of relevance is the number of proven instances of extraterrestrial life, zero. kkj
  • Score: 0

2:36pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Roundbill says...

"Jesus lameWay O TrutheLife"?
"Jesus lameWay O TrutheLife"? Roundbill
  • Score: 0

2:36pm Thu 7 Feb 13

kkj says...

Hovelady wrote:
kkj wrote:
I'm slightly amused that the above posters don't believe in god but appear to believe in aliens.
seriously? you compare the belief in the the science of actual physical life possibly existing on other planets to the belief in an invisible, beardy bloke who lives in the sky?

Hahahahaha!
Why not? Both are equally unproven, yet both have believers.
[quote][p][bold]Hovelady[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]kkj[/bold] wrote: I'm slightly amused that the above posters don't believe in god but appear to believe in aliens.[/p][/quote]seriously? you compare the belief in the the science of actual physical life possibly existing on other planets to the belief in an invisible, beardy bloke who lives in the sky? Hahahahaha![/p][/quote]Why not? Both are equally unproven, yet both have believers. kkj
  • Score: 0

3:17pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Hovelady says...

kkj wrote:
Hovelady wrote:
kkj wrote:
I'm slightly amused that the above posters don't believe in god but appear to believe in aliens.
seriously? you compare the belief in the the science of actual physical life possibly existing on other planets to the belief in an invisible, beardy bloke who lives in the sky?

Hahahahaha!
Why not? Both are equally unproven, yet both have believers.
Obviously you are correct in that there is no evidence to prove the existence of either God or life on other planets - but the belief in the probable existence of life other than ours in the universe is one based on logic and sound scientific knowledge.

I am unaware of any sound scientific studies or theories that would suggest the existence, or probable existence of God.
[quote][p][bold]kkj[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Hovelady[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]kkj[/bold] wrote: I'm slightly amused that the above posters don't believe in god but appear to believe in aliens.[/p][/quote]seriously? you compare the belief in the the science of actual physical life possibly existing on other planets to the belief in an invisible, beardy bloke who lives in the sky? Hahahahaha![/p][/quote]Why not? Both are equally unproven, yet both have believers.[/p][/quote]Obviously you are correct in that there is no evidence to prove the existence of either God or life on other planets - but the belief in the probable existence of life other than ours in the universe is one based on logic and sound scientific knowledge. I am unaware of any sound scientific studies or theories that would suggest the existence, or probable existence of God. Hovelady
  • Score: 0

3:22pm Thu 7 Feb 13

Tallywhacker says...

kkj wrote:
Fercri Sakes wrote:
kkj wrote:
I'm slightly amused that the above posters don't believe in god but appear to believe in aliens.
Do you not believe in life outside this planet? Statistics are against you.
What statistics would they be? The only one of relevance is the number of proven instances of extraterrestrial life, zero.
Interesting. Because the proven instances of the existence of gods in any religion past or present is zero also. And some ancient religions existed a lot longer than the ones around now before being replaced so you'd figure at least one god would have popped up by now.
[quote][p][bold]kkj[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Fercri Sakes[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]kkj[/bold] wrote: I'm slightly amused that the above posters don't believe in god but appear to believe in aliens.[/p][/quote]Do you not believe in life outside this planet? Statistics are against you.[/p][/quote]What statistics would they be? The only one of relevance is the number of proven instances of extraterrestrial life, zero.[/p][/quote]Interesting. Because the proven instances of the existence of gods in any religion past or present is zero also. And some ancient religions existed a lot longer than the ones around now before being replaced so you'd figure at least one god would have popped up by now. Tallywhacker
  • Score: 0

3:27pm Thu 7 Feb 13

gheese77 says...

Actually the catholic church had a conference about what to do if aliens arrived on earth - they concluded the appropriate response would be to attempt to convert them to catholicism
Actually the catholic church had a conference about what to do if aliens arrived on earth - they concluded the appropriate response would be to attempt to convert them to catholicism gheese77
  • Score: 0

6:27pm Thu 7 Feb 13

John Steed says...

Love it, hope you dont mind if I take a triapse around it one of these days.
Love it, hope you dont mind if I take a triapse around it one of these days. John Steed
  • Score: 0

10:49pm Thu 7 Feb 13

championshipgull says...

Hovelady wrote:
kkj wrote:
I'm slightly amused that the above posters don't believe in god but appear to believe in aliens.
seriously? you compare the belief in the the science of actual physical life possibly existing on other planets to the belief in an invisible, beardy bloke who lives in the sky?

Hahahahaha!
If God is invisible, how do you know he is a beardy bloke. Did science tell you?
Hahahahahaha
[quote][p][bold]Hovelady[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]kkj[/bold] wrote: I'm slightly amused that the above posters don't believe in god but appear to believe in aliens.[/p][/quote]seriously? you compare the belief in the the science of actual physical life possibly existing on other planets to the belief in an invisible, beardy bloke who lives in the sky? Hahahahaha![/p][/quote]If God is invisible, how do you know he is a beardy bloke. Did science tell you? Hahahahahaha championshipgull
  • Score: 0

9:11am Fri 8 Feb 13

Hovelady says...

No, science didn't tell me, but images and iconography contrived by the
Church and religious artists who need to put a face to a non-existent being to con the masses into believing in it did.
No, science didn't tell me, but images and iconography contrived by the Church and religious artists who need to put a face to a non-existent being to con the masses into believing in it did. Hovelady
  • Score: 0

9:27pm Fri 8 Feb 13

championshipgull says...

Hovelady wrote:
No, science didn't tell me, but images and iconography contrived by the
Church and religious artists who need to put a face to a non-existent being to con the masses into believing in it did.
Sorry thought you were joking. You’re right religious artist do make up images of God but that’s not going to con anyone and no one knows if God or aliens are non existent. Our science is not sufficiently advanced. Now it sounds more like you have an issue with the church and if I am wrong again I am sorry again. May the force be with you.
[quote][p][bold]Hovelady[/bold] wrote: No, science didn't tell me, but images and iconography contrived by the Church and religious artists who need to put a face to a non-existent being to con the masses into believing in it did.[/p][/quote]Sorry thought you were joking. You’re right religious artist do make up images of God but that’s not going to con anyone and no one knows if God or aliens are non existent. Our science is not sufficiently advanced. Now it sounds more like you have an issue with the church and if I am wrong again I am sorry again. May the force be with you. championshipgull
  • Score: 0

12:20pm Sat 9 Feb 13

norfolkngood-bn2 says...

Whatever people believe, I think it is a work of beauty. Well done!!
Whatever people believe, I think it is a work of beauty. Well done!! norfolkngood-bn2
  • Score: 0

2:46am Mon 11 Feb 13

JoeBlow says...

Hovelady wrote:
No, science didn't tell me, but images and iconography contrived by the
Church and religious artists who need to put a face to a non-existent being to con the masses into believing in it did.
You are a rather arrogant person, aren't you, belittling the beliefs of others as a con. You, of course, are immune to such conning or you, too, would be a person of faith...
[quote][p][bold]Hovelady[/bold] wrote: No, science didn't tell me, but images and iconography contrived by the Church and religious artists who need to put a face to a non-existent being to con the masses into believing in it did.[/p][/quote]You are a rather arrogant person, aren't you, belittling the beliefs of others as a con. You, of course, are immune to such conning or you, too, would be a person of faith... JoeBlow
  • Score: 0

12:57am Fri 8 Mar 13

Brighton Visitor says...

getThisCoalitionOut wrote:
How interesting that an autistic person realised from the ground that there were words spelt out and no one else did?! Makes you think.
So far this is the only sensible comment I have read.

I agree too.
[quote][p][bold]getThisCoalitionOut[/bold] wrote: How interesting that an autistic person realised from the ground that there were words spelt out and no one else did?! Makes you think.[/p][/quote]So far this is the only sensible comment I have read. I agree too. Brighton Visitor
  • Score: 0

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