Battle of believers: witches accused of bringing devil to Wedderburn    

By Emma-Jayne Schenk            

  • SPIRITUAL: White witches Jacquie Stallinga and Gaye Washington are fighting for what they believe in. Picture: Brendan McCarthy
  • SPIRITUAL: White witches Jacquie Stallinga and Gaye Washington are fighting for what they believe in. Picture: Brendan McCarthy
  • SPIRITUAL: White witches Gaye Washington and Jacquie Stallinga. Picture: Brendan McCarthy
  • SPIRITUAL: White witches Gaye Washington and Jacquie Stallinga. Picture: Brendan McCarthy
  • BOOTS: A witch's boot. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY
  • BOOTS: A witch’s boot. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY
  • METAL:  A medal marked in Latin. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY
  • METAL:  A medal marked in Latin. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY
  • SPIRITUAL: Gaye Washington. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY
  • SPIRITUAL: Gaye Washington. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY
  • CONFRONTED: Pastor Maxine Tonkin. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY
  • CONFRONTED: Pastor Maxine Tonkin. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY
  • CONFRONTED: Pastor Maxine Tonkin. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY
  • CONFRONTED: Pastor Maxine Tonkin. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY
  • CONFRONTED: Pastor Maxine Tonkin. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY
  • CONFRONTED: Pastor Maxine Tonkin. Picture: BRENDAN McCARTHY

A town stands divided and tensions run high as matters of faith take control.

TWO self-proclaimed witches have been accused of “bringing the devil to Wedderburn” by outraged Christians.

Witches Jacquie Stallinga and Gaye Washington are organising the inaugural New Age Festival in Wedderburn, which will feature witchcraft, tarot card readings and crystal education.

Ms Stallinga said “anyone remotely involved in the festival has been attacked and accosted by the local church sector, for brainwashing the community with devil beliefs”.

And while the churches deny making these statements, they say they have “prayed to God to sort out the festival”.

Wedderburn Gold Seeker Christian Church, the Uniting Church, the Church of Christ and the Anglican Church held a meeting this week to stand united against the festival. The Wedderburn Catholic Church did not attend.

Gold Seeker Christian Church Pastor Maxine Tonkin said the churches were simply “standing up for their beliefs”.

“This is a Christian community here and there has been a clash of beliefs,” she said.

“We certainly don’t promote the festival. We think it’s important to have a presence there. There’s a lot more I could say but I won’t. We don’t fear them but we have concerns. ”

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