Pendleside Witch Festival Statement
September 9, 2022
We are deeply saddened by the news of the death of Queen Elizabeth II. We offer our heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family. In light of this sad news we have considered whether or not we should proceed with the Witch Festival.
The Pendleside Witch Festival is to go ahead next Saturday, September 17 as planned.
As part of the decision the organisers have taken into account government guidance which states that all events may continue during the period of national mourning for her Majesty the Queen. They believe it would cause significant disappointment if the festival did not go ahead.
More than 1,200 people have so far signed up for the festival, with many others informing us of their intent, some are travelling from as far as Europe as well as all around the UK.
The festival and sponsored walk hopes to raise significant funds to help fund the care and services at Pendleside offered to people suffering advancing long term and life limiting illnesses and their families.
Due to the unprecedented times over the last two years Pendleside’s fundraising has suffered significantly and it is now unsure how badly it is going to be affected by the cost-of-living crisis and the increase in energy bills.
Statement from Helen McVey, Chief Executive Pendleside Hospice:
“In common with people all over the country and all over the world we heard the news of the Queen’s death with enormous sadness.
“She presented all that is great about our country and about the values of charity and commitment to others
“This afternoon we have met and held discussions with all involved in the organisation of the festival. We are conscious of the respect we must show during the period of national mourning but after careful consideration of other events taking place both locally and nationally next weekend and feedback from people intending to take part in the event we believe it is better to go ahead with the festival.
“We have considered the staging of the Witch Festival, and are confident that we can continue in a way that will remain respectful of the Queen and the Royal Family and mindful of the intense sadness felt across our communities.
“There will be an appropriate tribute made during the event and whilst we want everybody to very much enjoy the event, we encourage all taking part to be mindful of the special circumstances in which the event will be taking place.
“At the festival there will be a one minute silence to honour the Queen along with a book of condolence that visitors can sign.
“We are aware that some people will be suffering from the grief caused by the Queen’s death and I would like to remind them that our family support team offer bereavement counselling to anyone who requires help.”