January: Former glamour model Christine Cox blames a witch's curse after her face breaks out in boils. Cox, now too embarrassed to leave her Isle of Wight home, believes the culprits are animal rights activists punishing her for boiling her husban d's rabbit (he is a stage magician) in a fit of jealousy.

February: Former witch Sharon Webb, of Billingham , claims she is being terrorised by local youths because of her occult past: "I think some of the attacks I get are the evil one working through youngsters."

Self-proclaimed "high priest" Colin Henry, 37, is jailed for life after killing a Manchester City Councillor during an argument about witchcraft and satanism.

June: The Bishop of Hereford, the Right Reverend John Oliver, is accused of taking part in a pagan ceremony after he joins circle dance with 15 women in Hereford Cathedral prior to their ordination. Some of the women also stroked the effigies of dead bishops.

The Bishop, who is known by some as the "biking bishop" because he rides a Honda 500, refutes the accusations, saying the dance was "short, slow, prayerful, meditative" and had no connection to witchcraft. "The women were tense and keyed up and one of them suggested a dance. It was very effective." The Reverend Donald Reeves, who ordained the women, added: "We loved it. They were a radiant group of men and women. The women suggested I play the organ, which was masculine power."

September: Colin Stagg, the man falsely accused of Rachel Nickell's murder, is revealed to be a pagan. A notice on the front door of his home in Roehampton, south London, says: "Christians keep away. A pagan lives here." Inside he kept a crossbow and bolts, pentangle boards, dowsing sticks, knives, swords and shields with Saxon designs. The walls were painted black and scrawled with occult drawings and fertility symbols.

December: Students at Leeds University choose a White Witch, the Reverend Susan Leybourne as their chaplain. Ms Leybourne, 29, says she will place emphasis on the use of magic to control future events, such as exams.

Members of Milton Keynes Church of Wicca are granted permission to hold open-air ceremonies on waste ground next to an industrial estate, after months of opposition from local Evangelical Christians. Each full moon, 20 white witches will wear robes and stand in a circle to pray.

Martin Prop, a full-time witch who claims 1,000 adherents in the area, said: "If we are denied the right to worship publicly, we are forced into our homes. That is what happens at the moment and, I'm sick of clearing candle wax off the carpet."

The Rev David Church, pastor of the Milton Keynes Covenant Fellowship, remains unconvinced: "We believe witchcraft leads down a dark path which can cause depressive tendencies and even suicide among its followers."

Cauldron journal, Caemorgan Cottage, Caemorgan Road, Cardigan, Dyfed SA43 1QU.

House of the Goddess, 33 Oldridge Road, London SW12.

Pagan Federation BM, Box 7097, London WC1N 3XX.

Wiccan magazine, St James's Church, Piccadilly London SW1.

Web of Wyrd magazine, Box 9290London WC1N 3XX.

Wicca Study Group, BM Deosil, London WC1N 3XX.

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