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Ask the Patriarch 53
How do I Form a Church?

from Bob Holland

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We are a active alternate group in Bath - UK, we are a shop and a party people provider (rave culture shamanic practitioners.) (all STILL legal and popular).

Unfortunately the powers that control the masses in the UK are about to launch an attack on us for our beliefs and practices to which are ancient in formation and pagan in essence. We have decided to create a religious movement on these grounds to keep our doors to life sacred to our inner conscience and not be beaten down by dictators. hence my e-mail to you. Could you point me in the direction of how (practically ) to form a legal religion as such, like yours. I will be so glad if you can assist us in our movement as we are a 'appy bunch of free minded people like yourselves and elves

the Patriarch replies:

There is nothing to forming a religion. All you have to do is declare yourself one. (There are some countries, though not the UK fortunately, in which this could bring about a death sentence.)

If you want a little cover, just get ordained by the ULC - they will ordain anyone instantly regardless of belief, then you will have a properly ordained minister to head your religion and promote it - and even conduct some ceremonies, though not those with legal implications.

The tricky part comes if you want to do more than just promote your particular beliefs - such as becoming a registered non-profit organization, or conducting legally binding ceremonies such as marriage. This all depends on the laws of where you live. If you want to follow through on that, you are probably going to have to seek legal advice - something I'm not qualified to give, particularly for the UK.