Cornwall

'Eron the wizard': Crowds attend Wiccan funeral

Julia Stoiber at Eron the wizard's funeral
Image caption Julia Stoiber, who led the ceremony, cast a circle to create "a space in which to say goodbye"

Hundreds of people dressed as elves, druids and witches have attended a Wiccan funeral to mark the passing of "Eron the wizard".

Ian Wilson, known as Eron, travelled the country as a white wizard "healing" people and practising paganism.

Julia Stoiber, a High Priestess of Wicca, led the ceremony at Penmount crematorium in Truro.

Mr Wilson's daughter, Rebecca, said her father had devoted the last years of his life to his pagan beliefs.

Image copyright Rebecca Wilson
Image caption Ian Wilson, known as "Eron the wizard", used to be a builder
Image caption The cortege arriving for the funeral of "the wizard of Tintagel"
Image caption "Sparkle" and Laura Russell were among those who attended the wizard's funeral

She said: "He used to be a regular builder in Gloucester but was always interested in paganism.

"When he got cancer in 2008 that gave him the courage to follow his dream and he moved to Cornwall and followed the pagan way."

Mrs Wilson described her father as "the wizard of Tintagel", a north Cornwall town that is the mythical birthplace of the legendary King Arthur.

"He looked like Merlin and even carried a staff," she said.

Image caption Jason said paganism was a "way of life" rather than a religion
Image caption Crowds gathered outside the crematorium following the funeral

The body of Mr Wilson, who died aged 63 on 10 May, was carried in a wicker coffin dyed black and decorated with pagan symbols.

The service began with a "casting of the circle" by Ms Stoiber to create "a space in which to say goodbye".

Attendees heard poems and a eulogy to Mr Wilson and the service closed with a prayer including the line: "No farewell is the last farewell."

Following the service, Paul Crowhurst, one of the coffin-bearers, said: "Often at a funeral people are distraught thinking it's the end but for us it's different.

"We are saying goodbye but it's a temporary farewell because when it's our time to pass we will see him again."

Image caption Vicky Lowles is the manager of St Nectan's waterfall at Tintagel