Heritage Day 2014

Today was The IPC's open day, intended to have the dual purpose of raising a positive profile of paganism amongst the wider community and of providing people new to paganism (and pagans new to the area) a road in to the local community. The same people who invariably volunteer to help run the kitchen and help out did so once again ~ where would we be without them? The mayor and his consort turned up and spent an hour with us, asking loads of questions and expressing a genuine interest in what was going on. This has always been an important function of Heritage Day ~ establishing our presence within the wider community, that we are part of civic life rather than a bunch of eccentrics in our own isolated bubbles.

This year we changed the format, stepping down the size and number of the static stalls and displays and introducing discussing panels themed around topics that we hoped would be of relevance. The idea was to make it more like a mini-convention and so draw in pagans from neighbouring moots, to help reinforce bridges. It transpired that the interest from other moots was minimal, and I for one ma left to wonder if the amount of effort required to make Heritage Day happen every year is really justified in the face of such indifference. What happens next year remains to be seen, but for me personally it feels part of an overarching pattern in which I am reassessing my role in the wider community and the extent to which my private life ought to start coming first. Admittedly I don't actually have a private life to place first, but that is the direction my thoughts are moving in. It would be a shame to loose our civic presence (not many pagan communities have such a thing... and, indeed, it feels as if very few pagans understand the value of it, so insular have we become). However, there might be other, less exhausting ways in which it can be achieved.

The discussion panels proved interesting, throwing out a fair bit of food for thought. Alongside Beverley Price, I recited a few of my own poems, and also told the story of Romulus and Remus.


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