Church of England cathedral to host ‘new age’ festival

Manchester Cathedral is to host a controversial new age festival in May which is set to include card readings, mysticism, dream interpretations and a fire breathing vicar.

The Christian Spirituality fair is also expected to include a workshop on “Meditating on icons as doors into the mystic realm”.

Its location in the historic Church of England building is likely to alarm many Christians.


The fair is set to include Jesus Deck readings, a type of Bible study based on a card drawn from a pack of cards.

The “Christian symbolism of gem stones” and an exploration of the “relationship between the Goddess and Christian tradition to uncover the divine feminine in Christianity” are also expected to feature at the event.

The Bishop of Manchester, Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch said: “The event is a chance to discover and explore old and new Christian spiritual traditions from living in a community to praying with icons, from healing to bead-making, from Franciscan spirituality to contemporary music and movement.”


Bishop Nigel continued: “Practitioners from all over the country will be on hand to offer their experience of how God speaks to us today through the cultural language and practices so common in mind, body, spirit fairs.”

Publicity for the fair says the event will include “performances, meditations, stalls and workshops throughout the day” with people encouraged to see how “ancient spirituality meets contemporary culture”.

Tony Hardy, who works for the Manchester Diocese as an evangelist, said: “We hope to attract hundreds of people who would not normally be interested in a church event”.

In 2010 Manchester Diocese had a stand at the Manchester Mind Body Spirit Festival.


In 2009 a group of witches expressed anger because they could not use buildings belonging to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Shrewsbury.

Sandra Davis, High Priestess at the Crystal Cauldron said she was “appalled” at the decision.

Revd John Joyce of Shrewsbury Diocese explained: “Parish centres under our auspices let their premises on the understanding users and their organisations are compatible with the ethos and teachings of the Catholic church.

“In this instance, we aren’t satisfied such requirements are met.”

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