Pagans to set up church in Derry

Patrick Carberry

Patrick Carberry

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The first pagan church recognised by law in Northern Ireland is setting up in Derry.

The Order of the Golden River, currently operating in Belfast, are opening a branch in the city with a launch early next month.

Patrick Carberry, Sovereign and Founder of the Order of the Golden River, said: “We are setting up a church in the area whgich would be a branch of our pagan church.

“Purely because of the the type of the group we don’t worship in a church premises as such - we are involved with being close to nature - although we do have access to a premises if we need it.

“We are starting with a workshop on May 9th. We are setting up in Derry in response to demand. We have been asked by people in Derry that have been coming up to us in Belfast for our workshops if we would consider setting up a branch in Derry.

“People have told us that they would love to be part of something in the area so we are responding to that demand. There is already a pagan community in Derry.

“We do expect to gave some resistance to the idea but we are hoping that we won’t have too much of a problem. Our faith is all about bringing people together.

“Paganism has been established in Ireland for a very long time.”

He added: “The Order have been working to improve the understanding of our beliefs and gain equal rights for all faiths.

As a result of this work, on March 24, 2015 the Order became recognised as the first ever legally recognised pagan Denomination and Church, in Northern Ireland.

“I am now registered by the General Register Office to conduct Handfastings (pagan marriages) anywhere and at any time in Northern Ireland which are legally recognised under Article 11 of the Marriages (Northern Ireland) Order 2003.”