Battle for tranquillity amid the shooting | Letter

Samye Ling is not the only religious site to be desecrated by grouse slaughter (Buddhist monastery in Scotland calls for firearms exclusion zone, 11 June). Before lockdown I visited Pennant Melangell, a medieval shrine in a small church amid a circle of yews, a Christian foundation of the seventh century, still a place for pilgrimage and prayer. The priest there now keeps a shooting calendar in order to confine her services to the days when the guns are silent. Otherwise, the remote lane to this ancient llan is littered with birds twitching in their death throes. Saint Melangell founded her church where a wild hare hid alongside her as she knelt at prayer. She had escaped an arranged marriage; the hare was dodging the hunting dogs of a prince of Powys who, according to the legend, subsequently gave to all in that valley the right of sanctuary.

Scotland needs to find a means of protecting the peace of Samye Ling. The Welsh parliament needs to designate “sacred forest” around its beautiful llan sites, especially where these once peaceful places are now threatened by the insensitive use of the surrounding land.

Graham Murphy


Leave a Comment