Postcard from La Hougue Bie

Inside the Neolithic Dolmen

Inside the Neolithic Dolmen

About 6,000 years ago Neolithic people built a centre for ritual and prayer at what is now known as La Hougue Bie, in a remote part of the parish of Grouville in Eastern Jersey. The complex is one of the most significant Neolithic sites in Western Europe. Here Neolithic people gathered to worship and say prayers to bless the earth for their crops, to honour ancestors and to pray for help. The size of the central chambers suggest that a few people performed these acts on behalf of others.

The chapels on top of the prehistoric site

The chapels on top of the prehistoric site

Perhaps in an effort to sanctify a pagan site two small christian chapels were built on the neolithic mound in the 12th and 16th century. Ironically the location and size of the chapels suggest that they too were built to be places where a small number come to a remote place to seek blessings, to honour ancestors and to pray.

As Dominic and I explored this ancient site I couldn’t help but feel that here was an unusual place of holiness – a ‘thin place’ where earth and heaven were close, and where our time and the time of our ancestors of six millennia ago joined.

Fr Ian

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About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community where people of differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2364267899/
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