The Pagan Federation is a UK-based voluntary organisation, founded as the Pagan Front, with the objective of providing information and countering misconceptions about Neopaganism. It was formed in 1971, and campaigns for the religious rights of Neo-pagans and educates both civic bodies and the general public about Paganism. Pagan Federation is a constituted voluntary organisation, registered as a private Company limited by guarantee, with exemption for use of 'limited' with Companies House on 22 August 2000, with its nature listed as a Religious Organisation. The memorandum of the association lists the objects of the Pagan Federation as providing services for Pagans in the UK and abroad, providing information about Paganism to the public and all interested bodies, educating the public about Pagan beliefs and traditions, providing access to Pagan celebrations, and providing pastoral care for Pagans in the community including those in hospitals and prisons.
The Pagan Federation publishes a quarterly magazine, Pagan Dawn, that features articles, reviews, and research on both modern and historic Paganism.
Beliefs of the Pagan Federation
The Pagan Federation believes that `Paganism is the ancestral religion of the whole of humanity', according to Cole Morton who was awarded the`Pagan Federation National Journalist of the Year' in 2010. Pagan Federation states that for someone to be Pagan, they need only believe in the following:
Aims of the Pagan Federation
- The Pagan Federation aims to represent all "followers of a Polytheistic or Pantheistic nature-worshipping religion" and has a membership that includes Druids as well as Wiccans, practising modern Witchcraft; Shamans, engaging with the spirits of the land; and Heathens, worshipping the Gods of the North European tribes.
The Aim of the PF translates as the following core activities,
- Promotion of contact between Pagan groups and genuine seekers of the Old Ways.
- Promotion of contact and dialogue between the various branches of European Paganism and other Pagan organisations worldwide.
- Provision of practical and effective information on Paganism to members of the public, media, public bodies, and the Administration.
According to the Pagan Federation Wessex website the Pagan Federation "seeks to support all Pagans to ensure they have the same rights as the followers of other beliefs and religions. It aims to promote a positive profile for Pagans and Paganism and to provide information on Pagan beliefs to the media, official bodies and the greater community."
It is active throughout Europe and organises a large number of Pagan events. The organisation produces the magazine, Pagan Dawn which is the Pagan Federation's journal. In 2001, it successfully fought for the reinstatement of its first Youth Manager, Dr Ralph Morse, whose association with the organisation was considered sufficient grounds for his sacking as Head of Drama, Media and Theatre Arts at Shenfield High School in Essex.
There are many different regional bodies each organising its own events and functioning on a local basis In addition, Scotland has its own national Pagan Federation which carries out the work of the PF in that country.
Pagan Federation in the Media
- Epping Forest Guardian reported on 24 July 2012 that an anonymous leaflet stuffed through letterboxes on Epping High Street on Monday (23 July) warns of a Pagan ‘plan to abduct a male member of the public for use as part of their rituals’. This claim was dismissed by a representative of the Pagan Federation. The Representative stated that the Pagan Federation works with the Government to create guidelines on recognising Paganism.
- BBC online article on PF The Pagan Federation as saying that Pagans want the same recognition as other faiths, and that druids, Wiccans, witches and other pagans constitute a serious and growing religious group.
Campaigns of the Pagan Federation
The BBC reported on 27 February 2011, that according to the 2001 Census, 42,000 people declared themselves as Pagans - the seventh highest number for any UK religion - but some experts believe the true figure was nearer 250,000 - and is significantly higher now. For the 2011 Census, The Pagan Federation was asking all Pagans to put aside their reservations and to put 'Pagan' in the box for religion. This is so that a truer value of the number of pagans in the UK could be determined. The ONS reported that 56,620 people identified themselves as Pagan in the 2011 census, the eighth highest for a UK religion.
- Jordan, Michael, ed. (2000). Witches An Encyclopedia of Paganism and Magic. London, United Kingdom: Kyle Cathie Limited. ISBN 1-85626-385-1.
- The Pagan Federation (2008). "The Pagan Federation: Introduction". Retrieved 4 April 2010.
- "Companies House company search". Companies House.
- Morton, Cole (2010). Is God still an Englishman?. Great Britain: Little Brown. pp. 335–336, 339. ISBN 978-1-4087-0180-5.
- Morton, Cole (22 June 2009). "Everyone's a Pagan Now". The Guardian.
- The Pagan Federation (2008). "The Pagan Federation - Pagan Dawn". Retrieved 4 April 2010.
- Mendick, Robert (2 April 2000). "Witches take pagan message to youth". The Independent on Sunday. London: Independent Print. ISSN 0958-1723. OCLC 500339994. Retrieved 19 October 2010.
- Mendick, Robert (9 April 2000). "Pagan teacher to be disciplined by school". The Independent on Sunday. London: Independent Print. ISSN 0958-1723. OCLC 500339994. Retrieved 19 October 2010.
- Lucas, Phillip Charles; Robbins, Thomas, eds. (2004). New religious movements in the twenty-first century : legal, political, and social challenges in global perspective. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-96576-4. Lay summary.
- Strmiska, Michael, ed. (2005). Modern paganism in world cultures : comparative perspectives. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1-85109-608-6. Lay summary.
- Bamber, Katie (26 July 2012). "Pagan Rituals will not include kidnap". Epping Forest Guardian. London. p. 5. ISSN 1754-341X.
- "Pagans campaign for Census voice". UK: BBC News. 27 February 2011.
- http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/census/2011-census/key-statistics-for-local-authorities-in-england-and-wales/sty-what-is-your-religion.html Answers to 'What is your Religion?' question
- The Pagan Federation main website
- The Pagan Federation International website
- The Scottish Pagan Federation website
- Pagan Federation London website
- PF Wessex website
- Guardian G2 Sunday feature `Everyone's a Pagan Now' by Cole Morton
- BBC News `Pagans Campaign for Census Voice'
- Epping Forest Guardian "Pagns deny "ridiculous" claims of Lammas Day abduction plan"