Laneast church and holy well, Cornwall
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Laneast is a hamlet in north Cornwall which feels barely touched by time. The church is on an ancient Celtic site and the holy well just a short walk away.
We visited the holy well. This was a bit of an adventure. We could see it marked on the OS map adjacent to a public footpath but with no actual right of way. As we clambered over some very precarious stiles into a field we noticed a man beyond the hedge where the well was. Amazingly he was the current landowner and gave us permission to visit, escorting us there personally. As they have had some people trespassing and causing problems it’s crucial to ask permission from The Barton before going to the well.
However, it was a lovely experience as the owners care for the well, keeping the grass cut and planting water loving plants nearby to beautify. The well house which is grade two listed is in good order and was unlocked so we could view the water easily. As is our way, we settled to pray and see what God wanted to say. Unusually I got a list of words bubble through my mind which are linked to the purpose of this site: peace, linger here, sanctuary, timeless, no striving, haven, pure, purity, open up ancient well. They seemed a bit random until I realised they described perfectly the sense surrounding this well. We decided to continue and pray in the church. Just like the well there’s a lingering peace of God. The walls feel permeated with it. There’s a deep stillness and silence which goes beyond its rural location.
As I was praying I had a vision of a rectangular shallow pool about 6’x4’. A man was sitting immersed in the pool up to his waist and floating. He was spinning around clockwise several times. It was most bizarre to watch. I had the sense he was a leper and as he emerged from the water he was completely healed. It reminded me of Naaman the leper in 2 Kings 5 who was healed of leprosy by bathing in the River Jordan. I watch as the man praises God. Then I watch as a monk pours a large jug of water over him, baptising him.
I can now see there are lots of people gathered by the pool, women, children, people with eye sores, deformities, the blind. There are several women in white robes helping the monk serve these people. They are very kind and compassionate to the crowd giving them bread rolls and water. The monk is young with dark curly hair and joyful. He truly is like Jesus to the people, so full of joy and kindness. I see him laying hands on children’s heads and blessing them.
The scene shifts forward in time many centuries to when John Wesley ministered here. I can see that there were five flames of supernatural fire burning like a bonfire on the land. I hear the Lord saying ‘Revival comes from the land. It cries out for the sons of God to be revealed. All creation is calling out, including the hearts of men. (For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. Romans 8:19).
I now notice there are three angels by the altar. One is wearing a scholar’s cap in velvet and velvet robes in blue and red similar to Tudor clothing. He seems to be a scribe and herald. He carries a scroll and a trumpet to herald the message. I hear, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord. Lift up your heads oh you ancient gates and let the King of Glory come in. Be lifted up. Prepare for the Lord’s return. Prepare.’ The other two angels are more normal in appearance wearing white robes and have golden hair. Their role is to minister peace.
The church is built on an ancient ‘lan’’ a raised circular enclosure indicative of an ancient Christian prayer site.
John Wesley, as revealed in his "Journal," took a special delight in preaching from the pulpit of Laneast parish church.
He refers to six such occasions. He had a profound impact spiritual in the local area and there are records of revival during this period - a reopening of an ancient Celtic well perhaps.