A Presbyterian minister has warned the people of Londonderry to be “wary” about the first pagan church recognised by law in Northern Ireland setting up in the city next month.
The Rev Graeme Orr, minister of Magheramason Presbyterian Church in Co Tyrone, said he was “worried for the people of the city”.
“There is a dark spiritual side involved with paganism that I would like people to be wary about,” he added.
“I would invite people to come and speak to me and find their answers through God.”
Last month the Rev Orr described plans to burn the wooden structure called Temple in Londonderry as a pagan practice. He said he feared the burning could leave people open to the “influence of the occult and Satan”.
However, Patrick Carberry, sovereign and founder of the Order of the Golden River, said the group was opening “because of demand” in the area. He added that interest in paganism “has snowballed”.
“We don’t believe in one single God, but gods and goddesses in nature, they are in everything,” he said. “We want people to work together and I am a member of the interfaith forum.”
Mr Carberry, who says he has “lived many past lives”, said the Rev Orr was “entitled to his opinion, but the people of Derry deserve to be able to choose for themselves and not led like sheep”. He said “the dark practices” the minister referred to “existed long before Christianity did”.