Blakeley Rise Stone Circle

A friend and I recently located the Blakeley Rise or Kinniside Stone Circle, near Ennerdale Bridge in Cumbria. Unlike some we seek, which are hidden away in woods or desolate moors, it was right next to the road. Though fairly small and not obviously significant, its ease of approach and beautiful setting more than compensated. The usual online sources cannot agree about the stones’ provenance. Restored in the 1920s by a local doctor, some suggest it bears little resemblance to the original, while others cite the restorers’ diligence in seeking the original postholes and missing stones. So Kinniside could be a mere twentieth-century fabrication, or it could be a three-thousand-year-old temple or trading centre; if only we had some way to find out!

We who attend church must always strive to ensure our gatherings honour God and fit the original blueprints. Thankfully, little speculation is required for this, for we are vouchsafed the Old and New Testaments, divinely inspired records of God’s people, their structures and strictures. Whereas the New Testmant is a more fitting guide to how are churches should operate, the Old contains principles which we may still apply and from which we may learn. Our appointment of elders next month and our espousal of believers' baptism are both valid attempts to keep our chapel aligned with scripture. I have more confidence in our church's authenticity than I have in Kinniside's. 

The Lord is Zion’s King;
Let Zion in him trust;
’Midst friends and foes his goodness sing,
And of his mercy boast.

He rules on Zion’s hill,
With laws of peace and grace,
Laws that bespeak his kindness still,
And human pride abase.

Let saints his sceptre own;
His righteous laws obey;
Acknowledge him the Lord alone,
And walk the heavenly way.

William Gadsby