A building that is being described as a “Pagan Church” has been burned down in Belchertown, Mass. according to a local paper.
“A woman burned a pagan church on Gulf Road to the ground Friday evening after a hostile attempt a day earlier to reclaim her late father’s property, police said. No one was injured, police said. Evan Walgren, 46, was arrested and charged with arson and breaking and entering The Nature Church at 140 Gulf Road, a home bequeathed to the church by her late father, Eric L. Walgren in 1998.”
Eric Walgren (aka “Eric the Rat”), was apparently a fixture from the Hippie era who became one of the colorful “personalities” of campus life until his death in 1998. Until this incident, the daughter, who according to police doesn’t live in the area, had no conflicts or prior incidents with the church.
The article doesn’t talk to any members of this “church” at all, and we have no idea if it was a “Pagan” church. After doing some extensive searching, I have yet to find any trace of it in local Pagan listings. It could be that this church isn’t “pagan” in the modern Paganism sense of the word. Until we hear further reports we have no way of knowing. In any case, it seems this was a tragic event caused by a mentally or emotionally disturbed woman, and not motivated by religious hatred.