Hutton Bonville Church: Danger, Keep Out

This summer, I called by St Lawrence’s Church at Hutton Bonville. I drove down the dustiest, narrowest, roughest track that North Yorkshire could muster. On my return, I discovered it was a Bridleway, my legal right to use it unlikely, and my car was covered in dust and muck. Knowing that prior to bumping and bouncing around would have saved me much trouble and potential car damage. And St Lawrence’s, the deserted and isolated church to which I was heading, was closed. Furthermore, a blue and yellow sign warned of the imminent danger of entering the site. Whether this was a cunning ploy to exclude the curious, I do not know. I dare say that local youths, during long summer holidays, will be unlikely to heed such an earnest warning. Naturally this hazardous building was closed and locked, and there was little else of interest, so I did a 15-point-turn and took my leave down that long, bumpy and jarring track, praying to God no tractor or combine harvester would come the other way, forcing me to reverse back down that byway to sheol.

St Lawrence's might have been closed for its location or dodgy roof beams, but others, in finer, physical fettle, are even more dangerous. Some church fellowships are cult-like with their controlling ways and secretive leadership; others are business enterprises, fleecing the flocks and filling the pastor’s ever-deepening pockets. Some claim to be ‘open to the spirit’, by which they mean the Holy one, but it’s really just their own; some are merely there to entertain, massaging the fleshly lusts but neglecting the inner man. Paul warned the Ephesian elders that

…after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. (Acts 20:29).

Sometimes we must fight savage wolves. Other times, we must flee their lairs. They, too, are dangerous- so keep out.