A GRANDMA from Clitheroe is to recreate the route the Pendle witches travelled to their trial at Lancaster Jail in support of children who are accused of witchcraft in Nigeria.
Sue Reddin, of Low Moor, is eager to rally support for the charity Stepping Stones Nigeria, which offers help for children who are accused of witchcraft and then abused, abandoned or beaten.
Sue, 58, has two grandchildren who are half Nigerian and when she heard about Stepping Stones’ plan to hold a sponsored walk in the home of the Pendle witches, she wanted to get involved. And now she plans to set up a permenant fundraising group to support children who are accused of witchcraft in the African country.
Sue had read a shocking story in February about a Nigerian dad who padlocked his son’s mouth closed after fearing that he had become possessed.
Sue said: “I just couldn’t read something like that and do nothing. Obviously, I have family ties with Nigeria but I don’t know how anyone could not want to help.
“Stepping Stones is a great charity and I have been involved with them a little bit, but when I found out they had organised a walk here, I thought that it would be the right time to set up a fundraising group for them in the Ribble Valley.
"I want to raise awareness of the problems in Nigeria. The reasons why people accuse children of witchcraft are all very complicated — it’s to do with poverty and education — but the children are suffering and need support.”
A deeply held belief in child ‘witches’ is thought to be linked to Pentecostal groups spreading the belief and blaming them for any hardships or diasters.
The evangelical preachers that spout the beliefs often benefit financially from the accusations as they extort money from the parents of branded children to perform ‘exorcisms’.
The Stepping Stones Nigeria walk will travel the route from Slaidburn to Lancaster that the Pendle witches travelled more than 400 years ago before being tried and hanged for the crime of witchcraft.
For more details about the walk, call Sue on 07967 957536 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.