Author Topic: Avebury chapel's future  (Read 8500 times)

Owlswing

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Avebury chapel's future
« on: September 01, 2015, 02:08:52 PM »

http://www.marlboroughnewsonline.co.uk/news/all-the-news/4667-concern-among-villagers-about-the-future-of-avebury-s-chapel?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

Quite apart from any other consideration it should be noted that a large part of the stone structure of the chapel was made by smashing up stones from the (Pagan) stone circles.

This desecration resulted in at least one death when a stone fell on one of the wporkers. The stone was considered to be cursed and was left for many years before the man's remains were recovered and given a Christian burial.

Any ideas, other than those in the article, as to what the chapel might be used for.

This being posted on E and F as it will be seen by more posters than just the three resident pagans!
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Hope

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Re: Avebury chapel's future
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2015, 02:29:21 PM »
Quite apart from any other consideration it should be noted that a large part of the stone structure of the chapel was made by smashing up stones from the (Pagan) stone circles.
Were you there at the time of the smashing of the stones or are you relying on anedote and hearsay?  Is there archeological evidence, for instance?

Quote
Any ideas, other than those in the article, as to what the chapel might be used for.
A lot of places like this are now being used as community centres; craft/heritage centres; retreat centres (as suggested in the article); I also know of some that have become shops, accommodation, even temples/mosques.
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Owlswing

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Re: Avebury chapel's future
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2015, 03:37:36 PM »

Quite apart from any other consideration it should be noted that a large part of the stone structure of the chapel was made by smashing up stones from the (Pagan) stone circles.
Were you there at the time of the smashing of the stones or are you relying on anedote and hearsay?  Is there archeological evidence, for instance?


Go to Avebury and take a look in any of the more than a dozen books on the history of the Avebury stone circles - there are seven of them - and they quote records from the original engineers working on both the destruction of the stones and of the building of the chapel and some even include drawings of the work in progress made at the time.

This should be enough evidence even for a sceptic Christian trying to score points off people who are not Christian for their keeping on asking you for evidence that you cannot provide.

If you keep quiet about being a militant Christian - there are only pagans living in Avebury these days - someone might actually point oiut to you which stones came from the circles. I say keep your Christianity quiet as, even after all these years, some Pagans are still pissed off at the desecration of a Pagan religious site. 
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Re: Avebury chapel's future
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2015, 06:24:11 PM »
Well the pagans destroyed the environment and habitat when they chiseled out those stones and dragged them to Avebury to build their pretty circles. And since the residents of the area had long ago dumped that paganism, they we right to use that rock to build their homes. No crime, no foul.

Owlswing

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Re: Avebury chapel's future
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2015, 06:42:30 PM »
Well the pagans destroyed the environment and habitat when they chiseled out those stones and dragged them to Avebury to build their pretty circles. And since the residents of the area had long ago dumped that paganism, they we right to use that rock to build their homes. No crime, no foul.

YAWN!
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Rhiannon

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Re: Avebury chapel's future
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2015, 11:03:19 AM »
It seems that the URC won't allow it to be used by 'other faiths' ie pagans. My bet is that it gets sold for conversion to a house or, at best, some kind of Ye Olde Tea Shoppe.

Owlswing

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Re: Avebury chapel's future
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2015, 03:09:28 PM »
It seems that the URC won't allow it to be used by 'other faiths' ie pagans. My bet is that it gets sold for conversion to a house or, at best, some kind of Ye Olde Tea Shoppe.

It is very probable that, before the URC decide what to do, the place will fall down or be condemned as unsafe and allowed to fall down or be condemned and demolished.

If this is the decision I would foresee the Pagans getting together to purchse the plot, lock, stock and two smoking barrels, and turning it into a place to educate visitors as to the history - the real history and not the Christian version - of the whole Avebury area including the stone circles.
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An it harm none, do what you will; an it harm some do what you must!

Rhiannon

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Re: Avebury chapel's future
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2015, 03:51:00 PM »
Yes, I have no problem with it falling down and returning to nature. I don't know much about the pagan groups in the area and how organised they are but presumably the land will still belong to the URC? Would they be willing to sell?

Probably the best solution would be for the church to gift it to the local people. IIRC from my visits there (a long time ago) they would be happy for the local pagans to put up an information point of some kind.

Owlswing

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Re: Avebury chapel's future
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2015, 04:05:08 PM »
Yes, I have no problem with it falling down and returning to nature. I don't know much about the pagan groups in the area and how organised they are but presumably the land will still belong to the URC? Would they be willing to sell?

Probably the best solution would be for the church to gift it to the local people. IIRC from my visits there (a long time ago) they would be happy for the local pagans to put up an information point of some kind.

Actually the ownership of the land, as opposed to the ownership of the building, may be the salvation of the site. I believe that the building is the property of the URC, but the land is "owned" by the National Trust, as is the whole Avebury area. Even the local farmers are tenents of the National Trust and have to abide by its decisions, which is why more stones have not been removed to allow for bigger pieces of farm equipment to be used.

So, if the URC, ultimately, refuse to repair/renovate the building to meet the relevant safety standards, it might well be that NT could Compulsory Purchase it and do with it as it wishes. 
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An it harm none, do what you will; an it harm some do what you must!

Hope

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Re: Avebury chapel's future
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2015, 05:52:08 PM »
If this is the decision I would foresee the Pagans getting together to purchse the plot, lock, stock and two smoking barrels, and turning it into a place to educate visitors as to the history - the real history and not the Christian version - of the whole Avebury area including the stone circles.
Matt, do modern pagans actually know anymore about the 'real' history of Avebury than Christians, Muslims, atheists, the Dutch, Hindus, the Zimbabweans, Buddhists, the Scots, ... ?
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Owlswing

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Re: Avebury chapel's future
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2015, 05:54:01 PM »
If this is the decision I would foresee the Pagans getting together to purchse the plot, lock, stock and two smoking barrels, and turning it into a place to educate visitors as to the history - the real history and not the Christian version - of the whole Avebury area including the stone circles.
Matt, do modern pagans actually know anymore about the 'real' history of Avebury than Christians, Muslims, atheists, the Dutch, Hindus, the Zimbabweans, Buddhists, the Scots, ... ?

In a word - yes!

Just as I would expect you to have a greater knowledge of the history of places like Iona and Lindisfarne - and other Christian holy places.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 06:15:29 PM by CMG KCMG GCMG »
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Hope

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Re: Avebury chapel's future
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2015, 06:15:52 PM »
Matt, do modern pagans actually know anymore about the 'real' history of Avebury than Christians, Muslims, atheists, the Dutch, Hindus, the Zimbabweans, Buddhists, the Scots, ... ?

In a word - yes!
The reason I ask is that several pagans I know quite well, tell me that no modern pagan really understands what ancient paganism is all about, and have - when I have mentioned Stonehange and Avebury - have said that 'we' know precious little more than your average archeologist.  Whilst I accept that modern paganism is probably closer to ancient paganism than modern druidism is to ancient druidism (not that difficult a task!!), it is still a largely different animal.
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Maeght

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Re: Avebury chapel's future
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2015, 07:33:50 PM »

If this is the decision I would foresee the Pagans getting together to purchse the plot, lock, stock and two smoking barrels, and turning it into a place to educate visitors as to the history - the real history and not the Christian version - of the whole Avebury area including the stone circles.

Which is?

Owlswing

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Re: Avebury chapel's future
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2015, 09:37:36 PM »
Matt, do modern pagans actually know anymore about the 'real' history of Avebury than Christians, Muslims, atheists, the Dutch, Hindus, the Zimbabweans, Buddhists, the Scots, ... ?


In a word - yes!


The reason I ask is that several pagans I know quite well, tell me that no modern pagan really understands what ancient paganism is all about, and have - when I have mentioned Stonehange and Avebury - have said that 'we' know precious little more than your average archeologist.  Whilst I accept that modern paganism is probably closer to ancient paganism than modern druidism is to ancient druidism (not that difficult a task!!), it is still a largely different animal.


I would have thought that it was blindingly obvious, considering the age of the two monuments, that nobody on this Earth will know anything other than what archaeologists have discoveered or worked out or guessed. I have never claimed otherwise.

As to "the reason you ask", it is also obvious that "the reason you ask" so that you can claim to already know the answer, from "several pagans [you] know quite well",  and have a bit of a laugh at the expense of the stupid pagan!

It must really piss you off that both these constructions predate your religion by several thousand years.
If there must be trouble let it be in my time that my children may have peace. Thomas Payne

An it harm none, do what you will; an it harm some do what you must!

Owlswing

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Re: Avebury chapel's future
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2015, 09:40:40 PM »

If this is the decision I would foresee the Pagans getting together to purchse the plot, lock, stock and two smoking barrels, and turning it into a place to educate visitors as to the history - the real history and not the Christian version - of the whole Avebury area including the stone circles.

Which is?

If you are referring to the Christian version, I haven't got a clue, but I doubt that it will be the same as the archaeologist's (pagan) version. 
If there must be trouble let it be in my time that my children may have peace. Thomas Payne

An it harm none, do what you will; an it harm some do what you must!

Maeght

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Re: Avebury chapel's future
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2015, 07:07:50 AM »

If this is the decision I would foresee the Pagans getting together to purchse the plot, lock, stock and two smoking barrels, and turning it into a place to educate visitors as to the history - the real history and not the Christian version - of the whole Avebury area including the stone circles.

Which is?

If you are referring to the Christian version, I haven't got a clue, but I doubt that it will be the same as the archaeologist's (pagan) version.

No - why would I ask you what the Christian version was? I was asking you for the real history which you referred to. A bit odd though that you seem to be making a point that there is a difference between the real and the Christian histories but then say you haven't a clue about the Christian version. How do you know there is a difference then? Also why do you link archaeologists and pagans together?

Hope

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Re: Avebury chapel's future
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2015, 08:13:43 AM »
I would have thought that it was blindingly obvious, considering the age of the two monuments, that nobody on this Earth will know anything other than what archaeologists have discoveered or worked out or guessed. I have never claimed otherwise.
Sorry Matt, but in an earlier post you referred to the pagan understanding of Avebury, but now you're referring to the rcheological understanding.  Are you saying that they are one and the same, or perhaps that archeologists are, by nature, pagans?   ;)

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It must really piss you off that both these constructions predate your religion by several thousand years.
Why should it?  After all, I marvel at the Pyramids (c.2-3K before Christ), at Stonehenge and Avebury (about the same time frame), Gobekli Tepe (which predates Stonehenge by about 6K years), etc. etc.  If we take your argument to its conclusion, you must be pissed off that there are a number of constructions and religions that pre-date your religion by several thousand years. 
Are your, or your friends'/relatives', garages, lofts or sheds full of unused DIY gear, sewing/knitting machines or fabric and haberdashery stuff?

Lists of what is needed and a search engine to find your nearest collector (scroll to bottom for latter) are here:  http://www.twam.uk/donate-tools

Rhiannon

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Re: Avebury chapel's future
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2015, 09:21:28 AM »

If this is the decision I would foresee the Pagans getting together to purchse the plot, lock, stock and two smoking barrels, and turning it into a place to educate visitors as to the history - the real history and not the Christian version - of the whole Avebury area including the stone circles.

Which is?

If you are referring to the Christian version, I haven't got a clue, but I doubt that it will be the same as the archaeologist's (pagan) version.

No - why would I ask you what the Christian version was? I was asking you for the real history which you referred to. A bit odd though that you seem to be making a point that there is a difference between the real and the Christian histories but then say you haven't a clue about the Christian version. How do you know there is a difference then? Also why do you link archaeologists and pagans together?

I can't speak for Matt but because there is so little written history of paganism within the British Isles we rely on archaeology to understand our past, our sacred sites and also, in a way, ourselves. That doesn't mean to say we don't move forward or claim a lineage that doesn't exist. And archaeology moves forward too. For example, it's now thought that Stonehenge was probably a Winter Solstice site, but the modern pagan drumming up the sun gathering at the Summer Solstice is something modern paganism has well established.

In my experience most pagans are interested in archaeology, reading the landscape, and folklore. We look to these for clues to a past that we feel but don't always know how to express.

Owlswing

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Re: Avebury chapel's future
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2015, 09:29:03 PM »
I would have thought that it was blindingly obvious, considering the age of the two monuments, that nobody on this Earth will know anything other than what archaeologists have discoveered or worked out or guessed. I have never claimed otherwise.
Sorry Matt, but in an earlier post you referred to the pagan understanding of Avebury, but now you're referring to the rcheological understanding.  Are you saying that they are one and the same, or perhaps that archeologists are, by nature, pagans?   ;)

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It must really piss you off that both these constructions predate your religion by several thousand years.
Why should it?  After all, I marvel at the Pyramids (c.2-3K before Christ), at Stonehenge and Avebury (about the same time frame), Gobekli Tepe (which predates Stonehenge by about 6K years), etc. etc.  If we take your argument to its conclusion, you must be pissed off that there are a number of constructions and religions that pre-date your religion by several thousand years.

Once agin Hope posts a load of bollocks!

Quote - you must be pissed off that there are a number of constructions and religions that pre-date your religion by several thousand years. - Unquote

The oldest religious artefact ever found is a statuette of the Goddess (a fertility figure) that is called the Venus of Willendorf - from 23,000 BC!

It is Pagan - it is THE oldest!

Actually I'm quite chuffed about that!

23,000 years before your Johnny-come-lately!

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Maeght

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Re: Avebury chapel's future
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2015, 10:16:57 PM »

I can't speak for Matt but because there is so little written history of paganism within the British Isles we rely on archaeology to understand our past, our sacred sites and also, in a way, ourselves. That doesn't mean to say we don't move forward or claim a lineage that doesn't exist. And archaeology moves forward too. For example, it's now thought that Stonehenge was probably a Winter Solstice site, but the modern pagan drumming up the sun gathering at the Summer Solstice is something modern paganism has well established.

In my experience most pagans are interested in archaeology, reading the landscape, and folklore. We look to these for clues to a past that we feel but don't always know how to express.

As has been said, no one knows what went on at Avebury, Stonehenge and the like so I can't really see any connection between them and modern Paganism. Avebury is my favourite place to visit and I find the whole area fascinating and am very interested in archaeology but am not a pagan. I don't see that Avebury is a sacred site - it is a very important site in world history, but don't understand why people who have no knowledge of what went on there can claim it as sacred to them. It may have been sacred to the people who lived there at the time but they are long gone.

Owlswing

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Re: Avebury chapel's future
« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2015, 01:31:52 AM »

I can't speak for Matt but because there is so little written history of paganism within the British Isles we rely on archaeology to understand our past, our sacred sites and also, in a way, ourselves. That doesn't mean to say we don't move forward or claim a lineage that doesn't exist. And archaeology moves forward too. For example, it's now thought that Stonehenge was probably a Winter Solstice site, but the modern pagan drumming up the sun gathering at the Summer Solstice is something modern paganism has well established.

In my experience most pagans are interested in archaeology, reading the landscape, and folklore. We look to these for clues to a past that we feel but don't always know how to express.

As has been said, no one knows what went on at Avebury, Stonehenge and the like so I can't really see any connection between them and modern Paganism. Avebury is my favourite place to visit and I find the whole area fascinating and am very interested in archaeology but am not a pagan. I don't see that Avebury is a sacred site - it is a very important site in world history, but don't understand why people who have no knowledge of what went on there can claim it as sacred to them. It may have been sacred to the people who lived there at the time but they are long gone.

Please Maeght, please do not make out that you are that ignorant, because I, for one, do not, for one second, believe it.

So you do not see it as a sacred site, your choice. It is a site that took generations, like Stonehenge, to build. What other use would there be for such an expenditure of labour?

You are entitled to poo-poo the idea that it is a sacred site, pagans do not. Modern pagans follow the old pagan ways as closely as we are able. The deities we follow are responsible for various aspects of life, nature, death - it did not matter whether the people were Celts, Norse, Egyptian, Greek, or Roman, each had its own pantheon.

Modern pagans, some, not all, Rhiannon, for instance follows an entirely different pagan path to my own, try to worship their deities in a manner that seems to fit the particular deity.

OK - I am the first to admit that we may well have got it entirely wrong in the way that we do things. The Christians left us SFA in the way of written records to follow, so we do our best.

We do not ask you to agree with what we do, we do not ask you to consider what we do to be "the right thing" - but it works for us! We do not ask for your (or anyone else's) support, all we ask is that you leave us to do our thing our way!

Regardless of the opinions of others, Stonehenge, Avebury and various other neolithic monuments, stone circles, henges, are held to be sacred sites by pagans.

Pagans do not, and will not, stop you visiting them, we just ask that you treat them with the same respect as Pagans would show visting Westminster Abbey. Have you ever heard of a bunch of drunken pagans entering a Christian church and pissing all over the altar? NO! So why should pagans tolerate drunken Christians and atheists pissing over the stones at Stonehenge and Avebury that pagans regard as just as sacred as the altar in St Pauls?

I really and truly do not give a tuppeny f**k what you think Stonehenge and Avebury are or are not, but until you can prove beyoind a shadow of a doubt that they are NOT what we think they are and treat them as such, we ask you show our sacred sites the same respect as you expect us to show to yours.       

It is 0130, I am having one of my insomniac periods, three nights now, and I am a bit tetchy and the above is probably not as coherent as it might but heck, I am only a stupidly misguided pagan so what does it matter.
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An it harm none, do what you will; an it harm some do what you must!

Maeght

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Re: Avebury chapel's future
« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2015, 07:03:48 AM »

I can't speak for Matt but because there is so little written history of paganism within the British Isles we rely on archaeology to understand our past, our sacred sites and also, in a way, ourselves. That doesn't mean to say we don't move forward or claim a lineage that doesn't exist. And archaeology moves forward too. For example, it's now thought that Stonehenge was probably a Winter Solstice site, but the modern pagan drumming up the sun gathering at the Summer Solstice is something modern paganism has well established.

In my experience most pagans are interested in archaeology, reading the landscape, and folklore. We look to these for clues to a past that we feel but don't always know how to express.

As has been said, no one knows what went on at Avebury, Stonehenge and the like so I can't really see any connection between them and modern Paganism. Avebury is my favourite place to visit and I find the whole area fascinating and am very interested in archaeology but am not a pagan. I don't see that Avebury is a sacred site - it is a very important site in world history, but don't understand why people who have no knowledge of what went on there can claim it as sacred to them. It may have been sacred to the people who lived there at the time but they are long gone.

Please Maeght, please do not make out that you are that ignorant, because I, for one, do not, for one second, believe it.

I wasn't trying to make out I was ignorant and I can't see how that conclusion could have been reached from what I posted. Clearly lack of sleep has made you tetchy and I'm sorry about your insomnia - I know that can be difficult.

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So you do not see it as a sacred site, your choice. It is a site that took generations, like Stonehenge, to build. What other use would there be for such an expenditure of labour?

I didn't say it wasn't a sacred site to those who constructed it but that we cannot be sure of its purpose and that the people to whom it may well have been a sacred site have long gone.

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You are entitled to poo-poo the idea that it is a sacred site, pagans do not.

I think you are confusing 'was' with 'is'.

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Modern pagans follow the old pagan ways as closely as we are able.

But we know nothing about what happened at Avebury so whatever modern Pagans try to do how has this any relevance to Avebury?

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The deities we follow are responsible for various aspects of life, nature, death - it did not matter whether the people were Celts, Norse, Egyptian, Greek, or Roman, each had its own pantheon.

I know that's what you believe but not sure what relevance it has to Avebury.

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Modern pagans, some, not all, Rhiannon, for instance follows an entirely different pagan path to my own, try to worship their deities in a manner that seems to fit the particular deity.

Fine.

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OK - I am the first to admit that we may well have got it entirely wrong in the way that we do things. The Christians left us SFA in the way of written records to follow, so we do our best.

There never were any written records regardng the original purpose of Avebury.

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We do not ask you to agree with what we do, we do not ask you to consider what we do to be "the right thing" - but it works for us! We do not ask for your (or anyone else's) support, all we ask is that you leave us to do our thing our way!

I have no problem with that.

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Regardless of the opinions of others, Stonehenge, Avebury and various other neolithic monuments, stone circles, henges, are held to be sacred sites by pagans.

They may have chosen to consider them as such but there is no basis to consider any actual link to the original builders and just because they consider the sites sacred doesn't give them any greater say or ownership of these sites than anyone else.

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Pagans do not, and will not, stop you visiting them, we just ask that you treat them with the same respect as Pagans would show visting Westminster Abbey.

They should be shown the same respect as any historic site or building. Just because modern pagans have chosen to consider them sacred, when there is no actual link between modern pagan practices and beliefs and those of the people who constructed the site, does not mean anyone else should do so.

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Have you ever heard of a bunch of drunken pagans entering a Christian church and pissing all over the altar? NO! So why should pagans tolerate drunken Christians and atheists pissing over the stones at Stonehenge and Avebury that pagans regard as just as sacred as the altar in St Pauls?

Nobody should behave like this anywhere. On one of my visits to Avebury I saw a group of young foreign visitors gathering around one of the larger stones and starting to climb it. I went over and told them to get down and to show more respect for an ancient historical site. They did so and apologised. people should show respect but not because a group considers the site sacred but because of its age, significance and just through common decency.

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I really and truly do not give a tuppeny f**k what you think Stonehenge and Avebury are or are not,

Hence your reply ...

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but until you can prove beyoind a shadow of a doubt that they are NOT what we think they are and treat them as such, we ask you show our sacred sites the same respect as you expect us to show to yours.

I don't have to prove anything. Pagans are perfectly entitled to consider Avebury sacred or anywhere else but since there is no reason to consider that this site has any connection to modern Pagans beyond there wish to be associated with it there is no reason for modern Pagans to be given any special rights to the site. I don't have any sacred sites if you are referring to sites associated with religious beliefs as I have no such beliefs but I respect all ancient sites and respect people's rights to hold their beliefs. Claims of special association to sites which cannot be supported by evidence shouldn't be given any great credence though in my view. Remember - you suggested that Avebury Chapel could be used to tell the 'real' history of Avebury and I asked what that was but you seem to have agreed that no one knows so was confused about what you meant and being someone who really likes Avebury I was interested to know what you meant. If you meant that it would show what modern pagans choose to believe about Avebury then that isn't the 'real' history now is it?


Hope

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Re: Avebury chapel's future
« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2015, 09:53:33 AM »
So you do not see it as a sacred site, your choice. It is a site that took generations, like Stonehenge, to build. What other use would there be for such an expenditure of labour?
Rome took generations to build, Matt.  Was it built as a 'sacred site'?  Whilst I would agree that many sacred sites took many years/generations to build, length of construction isn't a prerequisite for sacredness.
Are your, or your friends'/relatives', garages, lofts or sheds full of unused DIY gear, sewing/knitting machines or fabric and haberdashery stuff?

Lists of what is needed and a search engine to find your nearest collector (scroll to bottom for latter) are here:  http://www.twam.uk/donate-tools

Owlswing

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Re: Avebury chapel's future
« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2015, 10:12:36 AM »
So you do not see it as a sacred site, your choice. It is a site that took generations, like Stonehenge, to build. What other use would there be for such an expenditure of labour?
Rome took generations to build, Matt.  Was it built as a 'sacred site'?  Whilst I would agree that many sacred sites took many years/generations to build, length of construction isn't a prerequisite for sacredness.

Rome was built as a CITY! NOT a stone circle!
If there must be trouble let it be in my time that my children may have peace. Thomas Payne

An it harm none, do what you will; an it harm some do what you must!

Owlswing

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Re: Avebury chapel's future
« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2015, 10:16:50 AM »

I can't speak for Matt but because there is so little written history of paganism within the British Isles we rely on archaeology to understand our past, our sacred sites and also, in a way, ourselves. That doesn't mean to say we don't move forward or claim a lineage that doesn't exist. And archaeology moves forward too. For example, it's now thought that Stonehenge was probably a Winter Solstice site, but the modern pagan drumming up the sun gathering at the Summer Solstice is something modern paganism has well established.

In my experience most pagans are interested in archaeology, reading the landscape, and folklore. We look to these for clues to a past that we feel but don't always know how to express.

As has been said, no one knows what went on at Avebury, Stonehenge and the like so I can't really see any connection between them and modern Paganism. Avebury is my favourite place to visit and I find the whole area fascinating and am very interested in archaeology but am not a pagan. I don't see that Avebury is a sacred site - it is a very important site in world history, but don't understand why people who have no knowledge of what went on there can claim it as sacred to them. It may have been sacred to the people who lived there at the time but they are long gone.

Please Maeght, please do not make out that you are that ignorant, because I, for one, do not, for one second, believe it.

I wasn't trying to make out I was ignorant and I can't see how that conclusion could have been reached from what I posted. Clearly lack of sleep has made you tetchy and I'm sorry about your insomnia - I know that can be difficult.

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So you do not see it as a sacred site, your choice. It is a site that took generations, like Stonehenge, to build. What other use would there be for such an expenditure of labour?

I didn't say it wasn't a sacred site to those who constructed it but that we cannot be sure of its purpose and that the people to whom it may well have been a sacred site have long gone.

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You are entitled to poo-poo the idea that it is a sacred site, pagans do not.

I think you are confusing 'was' with 'is'.

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Modern pagans follow the old pagan ways as closely as we are able.

But we know nothing about what happened at Avebury so whatever modern Pagans try to do how has this any relevance to Avebury?

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The deities we follow are responsible for various aspects of life, nature, death - it did not matter whether the people were Celts, Norse, Egyptian, Greek, or Roman, each had its own pantheon.

I know that's what you believe but not sure what relevance it has to Avebury.

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Modern pagans, some, not all, Rhiannon, for instance follows an entirely different pagan path to my own, try to worship their deities in a manner that seems to fit the particular deity.

Fine.

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OK - I am the first to admit that we may well have got it entirely wrong in the way that we do things. The Christians left us SFA in the way of written records to follow, so we do our best.

There never were any written records regardng the original purpose of Avebury.

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We do not ask you to agree with what we do, we do not ask you to consider what we do to be "the right thing" - but it works for us! We do not ask for your (or anyone else's) support, all we ask is that you leave us to do our thing our way!

I have no problem with that.

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Regardless of the opinions of others, Stonehenge, Avebury and various other neolithic monuments, stone circles, henges, are held to be sacred sites by pagans.

They may have chosen to consider them as such but there is no basis to consider any actual link to the original builders and just because they consider the sites sacred doesn't give them any greater say or ownership of these sites than anyone else.

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Pagans do not, and will not, stop you visiting them, we just ask that you treat them with the same respect as Pagans would show visting Westminster Abbey.

They should be shown the same respect as any historic site or building. Just because modern pagans have chosen to consider them sacred, when there is no actual link between modern pagan practices and beliefs and those of the people who constructed the site, does not mean anyone else should do so.

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Have you ever heard of a bunch of drunken pagans entering a Christian church and pissing all over the altar? NO! So why should pagans tolerate drunken Christians and atheists pissing over the stones at Stonehenge and Avebury that pagans regard as just as sacred as the altar in St Pauls?

Nobody should behave like this anywhere. On one of my visits to Avebury I saw a group of young foreign visitors gathering around one of the larger stones and starting to climb it. I went over and told them to get down and to show more respect for an ancient historical site. They did so and apologised. people should show respect but not because a group considers the site sacred but because of its age, significance and just through common decency.

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I really and truly do not give a tuppeny f**k what you think Stonehenge and Avebury are or are not,

Hence your reply ...

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but until you can prove beyoind a shadow of a doubt that they are NOT what we think they are and treat them as such, we ask you show our sacred sites the same respect as you expect us to show to yours.

I don't have to prove anything. Pagans are perfectly entitled to consider Avebury sacred or anywhere else but since there is no reason to consider that this site has any connection to modern Pagans beyond there wish to be associated with it there is no reason for modern Pagans to be given any special rights to the site. I don't have any sacred sites if you are referring to sites associated with religious beliefs as I have no such beliefs but I respect all ancient sites and respect people's rights to hold their beliefs. Claims of special association to sites which cannot be supported by evidence shouldn't be given any great credence though in my view. Remember - you suggested that Avebury Chapel could be used to tell the 'real' history of Avebury and I asked what that was but you seem to have agreed that no one knows so was confused about what you meant and being someone who really likes Avebury I was interested to know what you meant. If you meant that it would show what modern pagans choose to believe about Avebury then that isn't the 'real' history now is it?

Whatever!

You go on thinking what you think, it will not change what modern pagans believe, it is like all religions a matter of faith!

And I do not, tectchy or not, sleepless or not, have to justify my beliefs to you or anyone else.
If there must be trouble let it be in my time that my children may have peace. Thomas Payne

An it harm none, do what you will; an it harm some do what you must!