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Witches `rife in Inverness'.

A Highland minister stunned his flock yesterday by claiming a witches' coven is active in his parish.

The Rev John Butcher said a local lawyer and doctor were part of the Satan-worshipping sect.

He made his stunning claims to a packed congregation at the Ness Bank Church in Inverness.

Around 250 shocked parishioners listened as the minister warned youngsters to beware of witches and devil- worshippers.

After his service the retired minister, standing in for a colleague, said:

"I raised the matter of satanic rites being conducted locally to warn the congregation, especially younger members, that such practices were totally against the teachings of the Bible.

"I have absolutely no reason to doubt what I was told about the coven operating in and around Inverness. I am sure that my informant was being quite honest with me.

"I had to balance the risk of unnecessarily giving publicity to these people who dabble in evil spirits against my desire to ensure other people weren't enticed into that kind of mumbo- jumbo.

"The purpose for choosing this sermon was to make it clear that evil spirits were not just something found in Biblical times, but that these are around us today.

"People who dabble in the occult are affected by evil spirits, the antithesis of the true teachings of Our Lord."
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Author:Macaskill, Jamie
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 9, 1998
Words:219
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