Druid Network becomes charity

Charity Commission reverses previous decision, saying organisation's practice fulfils religious criteria in charity law

Stone henge
Stone henge

The Druid Network has become the first organisation promoting druidry as a religion to receive charitable status.

The Charity Commission concluded on 21 September that the Druid Network was "established for exclusively charitable purposes for the advancement of religion for the public benefit".

The decision comes four years after the regulator rejected the organisation’s initial application.

Phil Ryder, chair of the Druid Network, said: "It was a long and, at times, frustrating process, exacerbated by the fact that the charity commissioners had no understanding of our beliefs and practices, and examined us on every aspect of them."

Druidry is based on a belief that nature is sacred. The Druid Network was founded in 2003 to inform, inspire and facilitate the practice of druidry.

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said: "The form of druidry that is practised by the Druid Network fulfils the four criteria for a religion in charity law and therefore is a religion. However, that isn’t to say that every form of druidry would meet those four criteria."

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