Scottish pagans ask for “certificate of lawfulness”

Pagans who want to worship at a field outside a Scottish village, are seeking permission from the council.

They need a “certificate of lawfulness” so they follow their beliefs in peace and without fear they are “being watched”.

The group hopes to use land on the edge of Monikie, just north of Dundee, for eight seasonal festivals on the Pagan calendar.

Jan Steel, who owns the land in Angus, has submitted the temporary use application for “outdoor religious gatherings”, but said she felt she had been forced into making the formal planning bid by the authority because of the Pagan link.

“This is a waste of a piece of ground; it has sat for more than 40 years and we wanted to do something with it,” she said.

“The reason I felt I had to go for a certificate of lawfulness was that whenever we were on it for anything we felt like we were being watched.

“Folk get a bit iffy when they see something that is not in the norm.

“If they see 10 or 15 people around a bonfire, holding hands, they get all sorts of ideas.

“If you were to take my belief system completely out of it and I simply met there with my friends for a barbecue, would they have insisted on a certificate of lawfulness?”

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