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Pagan wedding takes place in Black Country park

Dudley | News | Published:

Ancient rituals, the breaking of bread and rhythmic drumming aren't the typical sights and sounds you expect in a Black Country park.

But that was exactly what people in Quarry Bank may have witnessed when a traditional pagan wedding took place in Stevens Park.

Scott Homer and Teresa Ball tied the pagan knot in a ceremony called a handfasting.

The Dudley couple were joined by family and friends on the park's bandstand for the ceremony, overseen by a druid priest.

Pagan weddings are recognised by law in Scotland, although rules in England dictate that Scott, 25 and Teresa, 52, are not officially married.

The couple said their ceremony was more about establishing a spiritual connection.

Tattoo artist Scott, who worked at Black Art Tattoo Studios in High Street, Quarry Bank, said: "It was a really good thing to do, it was all just about us.

"It's about getting in touch with each other and making a bond."

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The couple have been together for two years.

During the ceremony their wrists were tied together, bread was broken and eaten and 'hand maidens' were called to bear witness, representing the north, south, east and west.

Mother-of-two Teresa said: "I was looking for something different to do and a friend of mine suggested we look at having a pagan wedding.

"The whole thing just appeal to me, it's an emotional thing to do and it was everything I'd hoped it would be."

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Druid priest Cat Treadwell travelled from Derby to perform the ceremony.

She said: "It was a beautiful, magical and memorable ceremony.

"Scott and Teresa chose their hand maidens who represented the land.

"Every aspect of the land - the north, east, west and south - was called to bear witness to them

"It really was lovely and it's such a nice environment to do it."

In the 2011 census there were more than 56,000 pagans.

Almost 12,000 identified their religion as Wicca - said to be neo paganism - while 4,189 said they were druids.

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