A group of druids who vow that no bunny shall ever go un-hugged are spreading nature’s happiness in a tiny village just outside Milton Keynes.
The Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley sing to trees in nearby Aspley Heath in their search for spiritual fulfilment.
Their head is Archdeacon Eileen, the daughter of methodists so primitive that all forms of artifical light and heating were banned.
In her blog she says: “I have memories of services in the middle of winter, singing Wesley’s great hymn in pitch darkness while wrapped in eight jumpers and a sleeping bag. They were people of great devotion, with a tendency to suffer badly from frostbite.”
Archdeacon Eileen runs Beaker retreats from her home, known as the Great House in the village.
Most of the worship sessions take place outside or, if the weather is too awful, in an old cow shed.
Until last year the ‘church’ was was Eileen’s Moot House, but an “unfortunate incineration” during a Night of a Thousand Tea Light festival sadly saw it damaged by fire.
It is currently being rebuilt and the new design will include four doors, each facing sunrise or sunset on the soltices.
“At every meeting of the Beaker folk we are thus reminded of the seasons of the year,” says Eileen.
She is scathing about the Church of England (“musty hassocks and dodgy cassocks”), cynical about Celtic Christianity (“wild geese honk, not whisper”) and dismissive of “hairy” hippies.
But after an early pilgrimage travelling the world looking for the perfect religion, she is convinced Beaker folk, dating back to neolithic times, have it sussed.
She is also convinced they carried out one of the greatest achievements in the world – the building of Stonehenge.
“They were even earlier than the Celts, so they must have been even more exotic and spiritual. They were peaceful and gentle – except when they were massacring their neighbours to steal their wives and sheep. “And we like the word ‘folk’. It makes you feel comfy and Arran-sweaterish,” she says.
She describes Beakerism as a place where “creation is respected, the divine is encountered, trees are sung to and no bunny goes un-hugged.”
Read more about the Beaker folk of Husborne Crawley on Facebook or on www.cyber-coenobites.blogspot.com.