A warm greeting from the Pagan Federation International here in Australia.
One of the main aims of the Pagan Federation, and especially of its international bodies, is to assist members in networking and facilitating discussion. There is already a lively Pub Moot structure happening here in Oz, which we are keen to promote, as well as the PF's own forums, newsletters, and online lists and resources.
The PFI is also a valuable aid for those travelling, or expecting to move Country, or into more isolated regions, and while the UK is a long way from here we have a strong contact base there and throughout Europe. Certainly attendance at the National Annual Conference in London is a fantastic experience for those who can.
By becoming a member you will be supporting the work the Pagan Federation is doing for the wider Pagan community, both here and overseas, whether it is in the field of anti-defamation or supporting the networking of fellow pagans and in providing solid information about Paganism.
About The Pagan Federation
The Pagan Federation has been in continous existence since 1971 and has published its journal Pagan Dawn (and prior to that as The Wiccan) since 1969. Over this time it has grown to have a readership of more than 10,000 quarterly. These makes the Pagan Federation one of the largest and oldest organisations of its type in Europe.
The Pagan Federation was originally set up primarily as a campaigning organisation: one that would actively fight the ignorance and negative attitudes towards Paganism which were at large in the country (UK) then and which obviously still exist in various forms today throughout the world.
To help this campaigning, it was essential to create a network of like-minded people who shared common aims. The second major focus of the PF therefore, was to put Pagans in touch with each other, so that they could share views and meet and talk. A nationwide network, now run by over 40 Regional Coordinators and numerous local organisers, was put in the place in the UK so that members could meet and work together for the benefit of Paganism in general.
These two functions are still paramount today but have evolved as times have changed. It might still not be easy to "come out" as a Pagan now, but it was almost impossible a few decades ago. This change in perception, which the PF has helped cause, has enabled us to make considerable strides toward a more proactive and visible celebration of Paganism.
And now of course the PF is a truly international organisation, with representation in Europe, America, Canada and Australia, and a strong PF International arm.
Functions and Activities
Besides its annual National Conference in London, which attracts over 2500 people, the Pagan Federation has been actively developing support and events throughout the UK. Many regions now have annual conferences and most have their own newsletters to keep members in touch with local happenings. There are also a number of smaller events such as pub moots, discussion groups, workshops, picnics and coach trips to sacred sites to enable members to learn more about Paganism and to meet with like-minded people.
While in Australia there are no specific PF conferences or events as yet, there are a number of different discussion groups, pub moots and the like (see our Contacts and Events pages), and we endevour to provide a contact service for our members.
In the meantime the serious campaigning continues. The PF runs an Anti-Defamation section, which seeks to defend Paganism against abuse and misrepresentation by the media and which fights discrimination against Pagans by the authorities. As a resource for the media, the Pagan Federation handles hundreds of inquiries each year from radio, television, newspapers and magazines, giving them accurate and authorative information.
Rather than be purely reactive in its mission to achieve the recognition of Paganism, the PF has also taken a more positive and proactive approach to achieve these ends. This has resulted in Paganism being recognised as a valid religion by "Religions in the UK", the directory of the UK's Interfaith Network. The Home Office has also recognised Paganism as a religion whose members have a right to spiritual support on a par with other religions. We now have several prison visitors, and a similar pastoral service is being provided for Pagans in hospital. This creates a useful precedent when dealing with other Government departments.
We are working towards winning acceptance of the right of Pagans to practice their beliefs openly and without discrimination. In all its endeavours, the Pagan Federation promotes factual accuracy about Paganism, and works toward the goal of tolerance, respect and mutual understanding.
Copyright Pagan Federation International 2001.