Page last updated at 12:35 GMT, Thursday, 18 June 2009 13:35 UK

Witch anger at Catholic club ban

Sandra Davis (pic: MEN Syndication)
Sandra Davis has since found another venue for the event

A witches' coven leader has accused the Roman Catholic Church of prejudice after her group was banned from a parish social club.

Sandra Davis, 61, high priestess of the Crystal Cauldron group, booked Our Lady's club in Stockport, Greater Manchester for a Halloween Ball.

But when she tried to pay she was told the Diocese of Shrewsbury had decided the pagan group could not use it.

A diocese spokesman said the group was not compatible with the club's "ethos".

Mrs Davis, of Bridgehall, set up the Crystal Cauldron in Reddish as a pagan meeting place.

'Religious values'

After agreeing to hire the social club for her 2009 Witches' Ball, she was told the booking was cancelled when she tried to pay the £175 fee.

"In this day and age I just didn't think that we would get that prejudice from the Catholic Church," she said.


"You can't seriously segregate clubs like this by religious values. That's what has always caused trouble in other places."

Mrs Davis has since found a new venue for the ball and said it was a family event open to everyone.

"You don't have to be pagan to come and join us - it's just a fun open night with evening gowns and fancy dress and a fantastic Abba tribute group playing.

"My message to the people who decided we couldn't hold the event at Our Lady's would be, get up-to-date and start accepting us.

"It's not black witches and pointy hats, and we're not devil worshippers. We respect everybody's religion and we're trying not to have things in the shadows."

Canon Vincent Whelan of the Diocese of Shrewsbury said: "This event would not have been compatible with the Catholic ethos of the social club, or the parish."

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