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Pobol: Kris y Pagan

Pobol: Kris y Pagan

A Welshman's Pagan passion

The latest documentary in the S4C Pobol (People) strand is a portrayal of a Welshman who passionately believes in the Pagan faith.

The programme Pobol: Kris y Pagan (translation: People: Kris the Pagan) on Wednesday, 21 March, follows Kristoffer Hughes, author of several books about the Pagan faith and Head of the Pagan Anglesey Druid Order.

Production company Telemona was granted access to film ceremonies and rituals of the faith as the camera crew followed Kris and other believers to the faith's sacred sites on Anglesey, other locations in Wales and the UK and the United States.

As we follow Kris over the seasons, we come to understand why his Pagan Druidism is rooted in Celtic and Welsh mythology. As Kris explains, unlike Christians, Pagan Druids do not believe in one God but worship a pantheon of Celtic gods whose shadowy presence can be felt in Welsh legends such as the Mabinogi and especially the tale of Taliesin.

Kris became a Pagan convert as a young man when he was a student at a Christian college.

"I went to Bible college in Cheshire when I was 18 but I soon realised that Christianity was not rooted in the soil of the British Isles. Paganism is directly connected to our land in Wales and therefore very relevant to us. I want to show there is a spiritual tradition beyond Christianity and the church and chapel traditions of Wales. Paganism is much older and has a universal appeal," says Kris, 40, who lives in Bodorgan and is from Anglesey.

Viewers will witness several ceremonies celebrating the natural cycle of the year, some relating to the earth's rotation around the sun and others to nature.

"Anglesey is the natural headquarters of Paganism in Wales, because of the island's significant Druid heritage and its many prehistoric sites, such as the Gawres Barclodiad Neolithic burial chamber," said Kris.

Scores of followers meet at various sacred locations on the island and beyond, but their main place of worship is at Cae Braint, a site on Anglesey given to them by the owner as a centre to be dedicated to the old Celtic goddess Brigantes and as a nature reserve.

"We believe that the essence of everything spiritual is all around us in the world and that Welsh deities reflect the power of the earth. Goddesses such as Rhiannon, Branwen and Ceridwen are particularly important to me and I feel it's important to honour them."

The cameras follow Kris as he travels to America to lecture, to join Pagan Druids in a ritual and to see his latest book on Celtic Paganism through the press at Llewellyn Worldwide, a press founded by a Welshman and now the world's largest New Age publisher.

"Paganism is now officially recognised as a faith and we have beliefs relevant to the modern age. We believe in 'positive morality' which means taking every possible step to avoiding harming anyone and living as close to nature as possible. Viewers will be surprised to see how many Pagan followers in the USA know about Welsh myths and deities and places of pilgrimage in our country."