Photo by Candlesprite, logo by Paul Mason
Annually first weekend in September
"By coming to the Mercian Gathering you state that you are no longer a spiritual consumer, but a dedicated participant" Damh the Bard
The Mercian Gathering Mission Statement:
- To honour the Old Gods
- To create a sacred space for people of all paths to come together
spirit of fellowship, reverence and learning
- To raise money for our chosen charities - £58,420 raised by 2014
We are not a festival - we are a purely Pagan camp, concerned with performing ritual and sharing knowledge.
We have a zero tolerance policy on drugs and drunken behaviour.
Before you book a ticket, ask yourself if you are prepared to come in a spirit of reverence for the Old Gods, with a willingness to participate in rituals, talks and workshops, behave with unselfish respect and open friendship for others, and are willing to act from a sense of personal honour.
The Mercian Gathering is organised by the Hearth of Arianrhod and staffed entirely by volunteers. No one, except our charities, makes a penny from the event - by 2014 we had raised £58,420.
Money raised 2014 £1000 to Stop the Cull, £2000 to the Beacon, and £4000 to Warks Wildlife.)
There will be no Mercian Gathering in 2015. We are taking a year off.
Mercian Information and FAQ
[Please read before you email to ask questions that are already answered here]
VENUE - secret except from ticket holders. It is on a farm near Nuneaton, Warks, UK. Please respect this privacy rule. Turn off GPS tagging.
OPENING AND CLOSING TIMES - opens 10.30 am on Friday and closes at 7 pm on Sunday. No extra camping Thursday or Sunday night - please don't ask
Tickets include - all camping with your tent (you bring the tent), talks, workshops, entertainment etc. etc. Your PayPal confirmation is your receipt. Tickets will not be sent out till July/August . There are no day tickets or concessionary tickets - we try to keep it as cheap as possible for everyone.
CARAVANS AND CAMPERS - We have limited space for caravans and extra large campers, which means you will have to buy a pass for these so we can allocate space. Smaller campers (up to transit van size) can camp on the camping field with no additional ticket, though you should be aware that in the event of a muddy year, you may have difficulty getting off the field.
WHAT TO BRING - You will need a tent, sleeping bag, some food and a camping stove as the cafe is not open 24 hours. Please also bring personal toiletries, towels and any medication you are taking and fresh clothes. You will need some money for purchasing food from the cafe or goodies from the stalls, and a notebook is a good idea. You may wish to consider bringing a small fire extinguisher or a bucket you can fill with water in case you accidentally set fire to your tent.
CHARITY - All profit we make at the Gathering is donated to charity. We don't make a bean.
CAMP ETHOS - The focus of this camp is spiritual exploration through the sharing of knowledge and participation in ritual It is not a music festival and there is no beer tent; please don't bring more than a couple of cans on site. Drugs and drunken behaviour will not be tolerated. Anyone found dealing in drugs will be ejected and have a lifetime ban.
VOLUNTEERING FOR THE GATHERING - You can find out how to do this here (this takes you to the forum. Click the Mercian logo and scroll down to the volunteer forum.)
SUNDAY MARKET - If you only have a few crafts etc to sell, we have a Sunday Market in the afternoon in the marquee. You can bring in a blanket or pasting table and set up for free.
STALLS are booked by space (in square feet) and that booked space must be large enough to contain the stall, caravan/camper/tent and car or van. Stall passes come with two tickets and all other personnel or family must be paid for.
CHILDREN - are very welcome. We run workshops and entertainment especially for children and their parents. We do not, however, provide a crèche.
DISABLED PROVISIONS - We are in a farmer's field, it is on grass, and some of it is bumpy and may get muddy. If you are genuinely disabled, you can camp in the Events Field (still a field!) in the disabled area with a pass, where there will also be a disabled toilet. Please note, this is for one tent only (caravans must have caravan pass) and does not admit your group of friends and all their tents! Please do not take up space in this area unless you are genuinely disabled as you may be robbing a disabled person of the opportunity as there is limited space. If you have special requirements please let us know in advance.
PARKING - Cars can be parked on site next to your tent. If you are planning to come in daily, you must park on site, and not down the road in any farm gateways.
TALKS AND WORKSHOPS - Workshops start at 2 pm Friday and run till 6 pm Sunday. The day’s events are displayed on a board in the information tent and outside each marquee.
NO DOGS - People smuggling dogs or other animals on site will be asked to leave immediately and their money will not be refunded. This is a sheep farm. Please don't ask if you can bring a pet- there are no exceptions.
RUBBISH - Please take all your rubbish away for recycling. The Information Tent will give you a black bin bag.
NOISE - 11 pm curfew in the camping field, and 12 pm in the events field. Please respect your neighbours in the field - who may have sleeping children - and the neighbours of the farm.
FIRES - Sorry, no personal fires; do not dig pits. Barbecues and fireboxes are okay. Please remember not to use your camping stove inside your tent as this can be dangerous.
TOILETS - There will be portable toilets in the camping field and a really nice toilet block in the Events Field where you will probably be spending most of your time. These use eco friendly chemicals. There will be a disabled portable toilet on site - if you are disabled you can camp near it if you have booked a pass.
CAFÉ - The café provides light meals, including vegetarian, gluten free and vegan options, snacks and drinks. It is not a commercial venture: we run it ourselves. We do not run it for profit and keep everything as cheap as possible. Any small profit the cafe does make is donated to charity. There is a limit to what we can supply and the hours we can open. It is staffed entirely by unpaid volunteers who do their best - sometimes in difficult circumstances - so please treat them with consideration.
PICK UP SERVICE - There will be a free pick up service from Nuneaton train station on the hour from 11 am till 6.00 pm on the Friday, on the hour. (Please note these times.) A return service from the camp to the station will operate Sunday - book your return lifts at the Information Tent. NB Our volunteer cars do not have child seats fitted. If you need one you will have to bring it with you.
FIRST AID - Please enquire at the Information Tent, which will be manned during the day, or otherwise at the Dagda tent on the gate or see Don at the showers. There are also qualified first aiders constantly walking around the site wearing red high-vis vests marked with the words 'first aid'.
MERCIAN VOLUNTEERS - The Mercian site crew, marshals and fire marshals wear green high-vis vests with 'Mercian Gathering' on the back and carry walkie-talkies. You will see them patrolling the site day and night. Ask the guys if you need any information or help, or if there is an emergency such as an accident or fire, or even if the loo has run out of toilet rolls.
MERCIAN ORGANISERS - The Mercian Gathering is organised by the Hearth of Arianrhod and the Hearth of Herne with help from our wonderful friends. They wear green high vis vests marked with the words 'Mercian organisers' so you can spot them and ask for anything you need. They give their time and energy throughout the year to make sure that everything is in place so that you will have a good time. The only reward they get are your smiles! The organisers camp on the events field to make sure that everything is safe night and day, keeping an eye on the stalls, marquees etc., patrolling and keeping the generator and toilets running - even in the middle of the night - without disturbing other campers, and dealing with any crises that arise, hopefully without you being aware of it. They rarely get any sleep till everyone goes home!
SECURITY - The excellent Dagda come in to provide security for us and man the gate. They wear yellow high-vis vests with 'Dagda' on the back. You will see them patrolling the site with walkie-talkies and they are in constant contact with the Mercian crew. They can also be found at Fort Dagda on the gate. Please contact them in case of any trouble or disturbance.
RITUALS - The rituals of the camp honour the Old Gods, the season and the spirits of the land. A ritual is designed to transform the individual that takes part in it. Remember that you only get out of a ritual what you put in; don’t just be a spectator, but join in. At the opening ritual we activate the labyrinth and invite the Gods and spirits of place to join us in our celebration of the harvest, and ask them to help us in our learning experience during the weekend. You will be invited to decorate the wicker man with your offerings and prayers during the course of Saturday. You can also bring wood to contribute to the hearth fire, the sacred focal point of the camp. On Saturday night we flame the labyrinth and travel through it as an act of purification. This is followed by a procession to the wicker man when we burn him and send him to the Gods with our prayers and offerings for the coming year. [If you do fire poi, fire staffs, fire juggling etc. please bring your stuff and help lead the procession.] The closing ritual is features the mystery of John Barleycorn and a parade. Bring you coven, grove or hearth banners. Please do not photograph the rituals.
BY PURCHASING A TICKET YOU AGREE TO ABIDE BY THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Tickets include all camping with tent (you bring the tent), talks, workshops, entertainment etc. etc.
The bulk of the money goes to support the Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary in Nuneaton every year.
We also regularly contribute money to the Beacon in Nuneaton. The Beacon is an independent organisation affiliated to the Christian Spiritualist Society (Registered Charity No: 507420) which runs meditation classes, spiritual development circles, Tai Chi classes etc. with room rental available to people from all spiritual paths. The Hearth of Arianrhod do not own the Beacon and we do not run it - we rent a room there once a month, and this is our only involvement. We donate money each year from the Gathering to this charity as we feel the Beacon is a valuable resource for the whole spiritual community.
We have also sponsored several ME sufferers to complete the Lightning Process and occasionally made donations to other charities including £500 to the Dagda Jennifer Scanner Appeal and £1000 to Dorset Wildlife, plus donations to the Air Ambulance, Stop the Cull, the Philippines Typhoon appeal and Cerebra for brain damaged children.
Anna Franklin Hearth of Arianrhod
Mercian Gathering Constitution
Mercian Gathering Health and Safety Policy