Monday, November 07, 2005

Alcester, A Spiritual History

On Monday night, I travelled around my town with Harry, his mother Suzi and Pat Newbold. Our intention was to pray for the town, as most people accept that it is a "stronghold" ( a fortress for spiritual powers that oppose God).

I know that other places that are strong in darkness often turn that way because of some terrible wrong done in the distant past. I decided to map out the spiritual geographical history of Alcester... taking into account both history and legend.

The town was founded in Roman times - Alcester means encampment on the Alne (river). The modern day church sits at the centre of the (then) walled section of the Roman town. I believe it is highly likely that the church sits on top of an old temple. During the civil war, the church was desecrated and used as a stables for parliamentarian warhorses. There were claims that a church vicar fraternised with and protected highwaymen many years ago as well. Not far from the church is the town hall. In the middle ages, this is where the town's preaching cross was situated (before a strong church presence was established). According to legend, the town was cursed by St. Egwin. The townsfolk would not listen to him and tried to drown him out with their own clamour. It is said that an earthquake split the ground and swallowed up the blacksmiths who jeered at Egwin. The town lost it's prosperity at that time.

The town hall is also a place of meeting for verious masonic lodges in the town. For reasons I don't want to get sidetracked into talking about here... Freemasonry is dodgy... VERY dodgy.

So already, without having walked 100 metres from the town centre... there is already a lot going on historically that could carry spiritual consequences.

Moving on down the town and we come to Bleachfield Street. Recent excavations discovered some kind of ritualistic infant burial... and in latter days, the towns ancient Roman fort has been found. Bleachfield Street has been the site of two murders. In my father's and grandfather's days, the road was known as "Blood and Thunder Street" on account of the number of fights that broke out up that road.

Finally on the outskirts of town, there used to be an abbey. It was commissioned in the time of King Stephen (not one of England's finest rulers it has to be said). At the time of it's construction, a monk named Anselm spoke out against the king. Naturally kings don't tend to be fond of this kind of behaviour... and Anselm was set upon by assassins. With his dying breath Anselm cursed the town and pronounced judgement on the king. Stating that England would one day lose authority over the prinicpality of France.

As you can see, Alcester has a colourful past.

This was the motivation of the prayer walk. There was very little peace as we prayed, but that did not diminish our resolve.

While we were in Bleachfield Street, Harry was asking in prayer something like for Alcester to be something like Jerusalem in the time of King David; this made me think of how David captured Jerusalem's fortress in the first place (2 Samuel 5:5-9). We also prayed over the location of the Roman fort at the far end of bleachfield street. At that time I saw a picture of a large white limestone block. It was a new stone. At this time I'm not quite sure what that is about. I can only think of a couple of scriptures that relate to it. Isaiah speaks of it it in chapter 28... and Peter quotes him when talking of Christ. There is also the promise of a new stone as a gift from God to his people in Revelation.

This needs prayer and discernment. I am encoraged however, because it wasn't just an outward praying experience. This time, I believe God said something too. Now it is merely a matter of understanding it.

No easy task.

For an alternate account of the prayer walk... please check out Harry's blog, where he briefly touches upon it. you can reach it by following this link:!1pYIiTbd6GVC7t8ZtDiiM1kg!728.entry

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