Druidry recognised as religion in Britain for first time
2010-10-03 0:00

By Martin Beckford | Telegraph.co.uk


Druidry has been recognised as an official religion in Britain for the first time, thousands of years after its adherents first worshipped in the country.


The Druid Network has been given charitable status by the Charity Commission for England and Wales, the quango that decides what counts as a genuine faith as well as regulating fundraising bodies.

It guarantees the modern group, set up in 2003, valuable tax breaks but also grants the ancient religion equal status to more mainstream denominations. This could mean that Druids, the priestly caste in Celtic societies across Europe, are categorised separately in official surveys of religious believers.

Supporters say the Charity Commission’s move could also pave the way for other minority faiths to gain charitable status.

Phil Ryder, Chair of Trustees for The Druid Network, said it had taken four years for the group to be recognised by the regulator. “It was a long and at times frustrating process, exacerbated by the fact that the Charity Commissioners had no understanding of our beliefs and practices, and examined us on every aspect of them. Their final decision document runs to 21 pages, showing the extent to which we were questioned in order to finally get the recognition we have long argued for,” he said.

Emma Restall Orr, founder of The Druid Network, added: “The Charity Commission now has a much greater understanding of Pagan, animist, and polytheist religions, so other groups from these minority religions – provided they meet the financial and public benefit criteria for registration as charities - should find registering a much shorter process than the pioneering one we have been through.”

In its assessment of the Druid Network’s application, the Charity Commission accepts that Druids worship nature, in particular the sun and the earth but also believe in the spirits of places such as mountains and rivers as well as “divine guides” such as Brighid and Bran.

The document lists the “commonality of practice” in Druidry, including its eight major festivals each year; rituals at different phases of the moon; rites of passage and gatherings of bards on sacred hills, known as “gorsedd”.
All charities must now demonstrate their benefit to the public, and Druidry was said to qualify since its followers are keen to conserve Britain’s heritage as well as preserve the natural environment.

The document even addresses the claims made by the Romans about Druids committing human sacrifice, but finds “no evidence of any significant detriment or harm” arising from modern beliefs.


It notes that although there are only 350 members of the Druid Network, a BBC report in 2003 claimed as many as 10,000 people followed the ancient faith across the country.

Membership of the Network costs Ł10 a year but ritual ceremonies such as that marking the summer solstice at Stonehenge are open to all.


Article from: telegraph.co.uk





Related Articles
quango - Wikipedia
Druid - Wikipedia
Summer Solstice at Stonehenge June 21st, 2010
Revellers at Stonehenge celebrate Summer Solstice
The Naval Observatory change the winter solstice on 21-12-2012 at 11:11 to 11:12 - Why?
Christian Sun Worship - Winter Solstice at The La Seu Cathedral in Palma, Mallorca
Pagan festival focuses on nature-based beliefs
Wiccan priestess defends upcoming pagan festival (Video)
A Witch Living and Practicing as a Pagan in Avebury (Video)
Easter - Christian or Pagan?
How Pagan Worship Became Christmas
Pagan Police Group UK
Pagan PC: I don’t want tree worshippers standing between me and chaos
What’s Witchcraft? 6 Misconceptions about Wiccans


Latest News from our Front Page

Barbara Lerner Spectre On Twitter!
2015-07-28 23:04
Kevin MacDonald writes in 2010: In the video below, Barbara Lerner Spectre, who runs a government-funded Jewish study group in Sweden, makes the following remarkable statement—remarkable because she does not attribute anti-Jewish attitudes to irrational prejudices or even Muslims who hate Israel. Instead she says that it’s because of the “leading role” played by Jews in the movement toward multiculturalism: “I think ...
Sweden investigating underwater wreckage as possible Russian submarine
2015-07-28 20:38
What may be the wreckage of a Russian submarine is seen off the coast of Sweden The Swedish military is studying a video taken by shipwreck hunters who say it shows a wrecked submarine, just off the country’s eastern coast, which appears to be Russian. Ocean X Team, the company behind the discovery, said on its website: “It is unclear how old ...
Literal Cuckservatives
2015-07-28 20:30
The Dissidenti™™ and their frazzled hall monitors buzzsaw with talk about “cuckservatives.” It’s the shiv du jour, you see. As shivs go, it is in this ‘umble narrator’s opinion one of the more lethal of the semantic shanks employed by dark realists. Lovers and haters of the Cuck Shiv gird for battle (well, the haters girdle for battle). The wielders love ...
The Inevitable - The Daily Beast Begins The Personal Attacks To Tear Down Trump….
2015-07-28 19:46
Only the politically naive didn’t see this coming. The liberal outlet “The Daily Beast” begins to attack Donald Trump personally, through a method of hiding behind citations in old books and manipulating content/context delivery to attack their target. The Daily Beast takes this very specific and very strategic approach because references to the statements/opinions of others  allows them to avoid libel and ...
Residents of Dresden Wake up to Find Overnight, City Park Has Been Turned Into Migrant Camp For 2,000
2015-07-27 23:34
The German city which dared to stand-up to their government’s policy of accepting Islamisation and mass migration appears to have been punished for dissent by the zero-notice imposition of a migrant camp. Government employees stood by the entrance of a city park in Dresden, Saxony on Thursday night handing out fliers to passers-by informing them the next day the green space, ...
More News »