Last Summer a spate of stories emerged in the UK about the creation of a Pagan Police Association (there’s also a Pagan Police Group, but they aren’t related), and their quest to have Pagan holidays approved for time-off requests. Now, word has come that the PPA has been officially recognized as a Diversity Staff Support Association, ensuring Pagan police can use their vacation time during their holy days without being turned down. Endorsement would mean that chief constables could not refuse a pagan officer’s request to take feast days as part of his or her annual leave. The eight pagan festivals include Imbolc (the feast of lactating sheep), Lammas (the harvest festival) and the Summer Solstice (when mead drinking and naked dancing are the order of the day) … The new association, which already has three official police chaplains and committee members in the Metropolitan, Hertfordshire and Humberside forces, welcomed its breakthrough. PC Andrew Pardy, its vice-chairman and a beat officer in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, said: “The Police Service needs to embrace paganism in order to represent communities effectively.” Mr Pardy, who worships Norse gods, added: “All activities undertaken by the association support and reinforce the vision and values of the Police Service, while upholding the Home Office standards for equality and diversity.”
This has triggered a wave of coverage and editorial on the matter.