Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Temple, Camden, London, NW1 9RY

Also known as Rochester Square Spiritualist Temple (1926) this religious building is owned by the Spiritualists National Union, a large church property owning charity (340 church buildings). They allowed the neglect of this building over many years. A development company have applied for planning permission to build flats on the site. You can help save this building from demolition by emailing with your name and address, to save and renovate: planning@camden.gov.uk  17th August is the deadline for the planning permission appeal. Ref: 2016/7088/P

Arthur Conan Doyle, KStJ DL was a great thinker and political activist, and a very spiritual man of the highest ethics and integrity. An early pioneer of Christian Spiritualism, he was also a Theosophist, Freemason, Knight of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, Doctor of Medicine, and had many additional qualifications and honours, including medals won as a doctor in the Boer War. He may have been involved with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn who claim him as a member.

Conan Doyle was the leading light of Christian Spiritualism and laid a foundation stone at this religious building 1926, described as a temple. It hosts a cross on the apex of the roof. He campaigned to have Christian teaching and healing as per the New Testament included as part of the 7 Principles of Spiritualism - yet failed. The SNU are not affiliated to Christianity.

The church was built with donations during a time of the great privation, known as the General Strike. Their building society manager died, and his family inherited the money, leaving those involved in building the church in great debt. One couple had been made homeless due to their faith. To rescue the matter, Conan Doyle gave £500 for the building of this church. Is this story of hardship and dedication.

Doyle was born in Scotland of very poor Irish Catholic background. A sponsor rescued him from poverty, and he was sent to prep school at 9 years of age, and was accepted into Stoneyhurst, a Jesuit school of world renown. His father had a psychiatric illness, was alcoholic, and died in an insane institution. There is a tale of hardship and tragedy in the life of Sir Arthur, as there is in the story of this little church. 

He toured to lecture about his religious beliefs in Australia and New Zealand, American and this country, gaining huge audiences. As a political campaigner, he defended Sir Roger Casement, a homosexual  accused of spying for the Germans in WWI in order to help Irish Nationalism. Conan Doyle stated Casement was mentally ill and should not be executed. His case failed and Casement was hanged. Conan Doyle had a number of serious set-backs, including placing all his savings in a psychic bookshop and museum near Westminster Abbey but he lost a vast sum in this business. He is best known for his detective novels of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, both personalities he developed from real life characters. Though his detective stories were best sellers, he stated he wanted to be known for his religion rather than for his novels.

Rochester Square was originally part of the estate of the Marquis of Camden and is linked to the city of Rochester in Kent. Redevelopment of this area into a marketable area of events, tourism and culture is the latest fashion. Sam Belinfante, Laure Prouvost, Simon Bayliss, Ben Rivers and others are involved. This church building, known as a temple, could be converted into an art gallery, cafe and tribute to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Wendy Stokes wishes to save this unique building. Christian Spiritualism iconography is unknown. The stained glass windows and fixtures and fittings in this building are unphotographed and unrecorded. The Founding Fathers bought one Masonic chair each, ten in all. Why is this religious building titled a 'Temple'? There are mysteries here for sleuths to uncover! Help save this temple, Camden today. Thank you.  

 Conan Doyle wrote over 60 books on many topics, twenty of these are on the topic of Spiritualism, including the very influential: two-volume set, The History of Spiritualism (1924) and
The New Revelation (1918), Life After Death(1918), The Vital Message (1919), Spiritualism and Rationalism (1920), The Wanderings of a Spiritualist (1921), The Coming of the Fairies (1922), The Case for Spirit Photography (1922), Our American Adventure (1923), Our Second American Adventure (1924), Spiritualist's Reader (1924), Memories and Adventures (1924), The Early Christian Church and Modern Spiritualism (1925), The Land of Mist (1926, fiction), The History of Spiritualism, in two volumes (1926), Pheneas Speaks. Direct Spirit Communication in the Family Circle (1927), Our African Winter (1929), The Edge of the Unknown (1930). Please Join our campaign: https://www.facebook.com/Save-Rochester-Square-Spiritualist-Church-1930641490524182/?pnref=story

From Australia: https://www.change.org/p/elizabeth-beaumont-save-london-s-rochester-square-church-building/fbog/51466934?recruiter=51466934&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=share_for_starters_page

You are welcome to email me: w.stokeslondon@gmail.com

Monday, 14 August 2017

Where Troy Once Stood

Book Review: Where Troy Once Stood by Iman Wilkens 
                                "Now there are fields where Troy Once Stood..."
This is an outstanding research work which puts the epic poetry of Homer in a new and realistic setting. The author, Iman Wilkens, had a fascination with Homer since childhood, and later made an indepth study that is the subject of this book. He discovered the poems were oral Celtic tales told 400 years before they were written by the Greeks. The Trojan war was not set in the Mediterranean as has been largely claimed by academics, but is set in East Anglia, between the tribes of Western Europe and the tribes of Britain. Place names and river names, wind directions, time frames, constellations (which are still in use today), coats of arms, etc., were used to identify the true origin of the story. All information was meaningful; numbers, colours, names, deities, all were necessary but hidden threads under the guise of an entertaining story. The Odyssey shows sea charts, the Iliad, the history of the Trojan War, and the reason for it is not the abduction of a beautiful,woman, but a highly desired and extremely rare metal deposit. 

Sunday, 13 August 2017

The City of Revelation! London by Chris Street

There have been several attempts to re-build London as ‘The New Jerusalem’. The first was by the Knights Templar who, in 1185, modelled their Temple Church in Holborn on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and sited the building exactly the same distance from St. Pauls Cathedral as the Holy Sepulchre is sited from the Dome of the Rock. Clearly they saw a connection, or wanted to create one.

Approx 500 years later, following the Great Fire of London, Sir Christopher Wren conceived his own plan to re-build London as the New Jerusalem, whilst his rival, John Evelyn, devised a design for the city based upon the cabbalistic tree of life.

In the 18th century, the visionary artist and poet, William Blake, saw Jerusalem within London’s spiritual dimensions and in the words that have become Britain’s second national anthem, exhorted us to “build Jerusalem on England’s green and pleasant land.”

Spiritual Healing

If someone wishes to receive spiritual healing, the healer must, by law, suggest that, if they had not done so already, get a qualified doctor’s opinion to provide a diagnosis and treatment. The words ‘hallowed’, ‘holistic’, ‘whole’ and ‘health’ are all connected to the word ‘healing’. Spiritual healing delivers loving energy in order to help to restore equilibrium the body, emotions, mind and spirit. Healers give good quality attention, recognition, acknowledgement, compassion, support, consideration, kindness, patience and understanding. These qualities are the secrets of the healing arts. Physical, emotional, mental and spiritual complaints, trivial, hereditary and terminal disorders are some of the conditions treated by spiritual healers. Whatever the cause, healing spirits know every heart-ache and discomfort and are ready to deliver Soothing directly to the place of greatest need. 

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Coincidence! What’s it all about?

A 'coincidence' is two unrelated events that take place at the same time. Coincidences are surprisingly common and occur many times each day, for example, I was thinking about a friend this morning when she telephoned me. Is this just a co-incidence or could it have been telepathy?

Friday, 11 August 2017

Famous Superstitions

The root of the word ‘superstition’ is Latin and means ‘to stand over in awe’. It relates to an irrational belief that defies a logical explanation. Many primitive beliefs date back a thousand years and more. They were originally created to try to overcome fear of the unknown and the loss of control over life and death events. Many people believed that the future was influenced by ordinary, everyday mistakes and that the future could be foretold by carefully watching simple actions of daily living. These odd ideas were deeply embedded in the minds of people across the globe. Many superstitions in North America were taken by early settlers from Britain and Ireland. Once a belief becomes part of the tradition of a country, it is almost impossible to remove it.

Touching wood which is perhaps the most universal and ancient superstition. It probably formed in the early time of man’s development when trees were thought to be deities. Trees provided wood the fire, for warmth and cooking; a table and a chair; a bed and, of course, a coffin at the end of life. Trees provided shelter from the hot sun during the summer and fruit and nuts for the table in autumn. A branch could be made into a walking stick or a cudgel, for killing an animal for dinner or attacking an enemy. A shepherd’s crook was originally a branch used to hook sheep out of a waterlogged meadow and soon became a tool for delivering a new born lamb. Tall trees, such as firs were way markers for drovers’ routes and for pilgrims on their way to a place of worship. Is it any wonder that trees were venerated and that their wood was considered ‘lucky’?

Wednesday, 9 August 2017


Druidry is the ancient oral doctrine of the Celtic people. People from a variety of traditions and cultures gather to celebrate the druidic way of life and meet Druid sympathisers at outdoor camps in honour of the seasons.

I attended one of these events and was very impressed by the quality of spirituality. About eighty people come together in a large circle to honour the sun at the summer solstice. Firstly, we got together in smaller groups to design a role we would like to play in the ritual celebration. This communal activity gave us all an opportunity to get to know members of our smaller group, then we all came together in the larger group to re-enact the passage of the sun in relation to the earth. For those who are not very visual, this clearly explained about the movement of the sun, earth  moon, our solar system and the stars beyond. It was creative, enjoyable fun, and we learnt about the seasons also. There were many workshops from eminent teachers on offer. Each day there were a number of activities to choose from, including walks, talks and arts projects. In the evenings, there was poetry, music and dance. There was an emphasis on caring for the environment and also being aware of the needs to other people. I met many interesting and likeable people and returned home rested and more connected with nature and other people.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Labyrinth - Saffron Walden - some thoughts

The ancient labyrinth on the common at Saffron Walden is the largest 'free to walk' labyrinth in England and is believed to be based on the labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral (which dates to the twelvth century but is not always available). This one has four raised areas at the quarters and a mound at the centre. It is reputed to be a portal to otherworlds and perhaps on a ley node. The round trip to the centre and out again is 3,000 meters or two miles. I visited on my birthday to meditate on the year ahead. Before I had left home, I had opened a gift from a friend. It was a tiny bright sculpture of mythical beasts emerging from an egg and was titled, 'new beginnings'.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Healing Videos from Health-Happiness

Wendy Stokes contributes to a page on Health & Happiness Magazine's online page of free YouTube healing videos. If you would like to listen to any of these, please make yourself comfortable in a place you will not be disturbed for 15 minutes, relax and enjoy!
Click on this link which will take you to your selection:   

Your Film Story

This is a free YouTube healing meditation written by Wendy Stokes and presented by Erica Longdon. Please make yourself comfortable, avoid interruptions, and enjoy the visit to your own personal spiritual cinema!