"The Times they are a Changing." In the past Wicca/Paganism was propagated by covens, small groups of practitioners worshiping and working magic together. And this seemed to suffice for a long period of time. Today however there is a massive growth of interest in the Mystery religions. The need has arisen for a system to be utilized to accommodate they people. This is the purpose and necessity of Pagan/Wiccan Churches. In this society this also brings rise to the necessity of these intuitions to be legal. Which means that they become Tax-Exempt along with the other Major Faiths of the world. In other words Wicca and Paganism are becoming organized religions! Oh my Goddess!
Over the years I've heard the discussions and sometimes heated debates on this subject. I've even been asked, "What are you doing Terry? Copying the Christians? " My reply has been, "Where do you think they got the idea?" A look at Pagan history will tell us that The Druids were a highly organized, along with the Buddhists Temples, Shaolin Temples and many more pagan religions predating well before the establishment of Christianity.
One of the problems, I believe, is new Pagans coming into the path are so frustrated from their past experiences with Christianity that they do not want to have the same type of authoritative dogma brought into Wicca/Paganism. I agree with them. I don't see Wicca/Paganism ever having a "Pope." One ruling structure that applies to everyone. In the words of Pete Pathfinder Davis, "That's the beauty of this religion, We're all correct."
Now this all leads to the question, Do Pagan Churches have a purpose is today's society. The answer is Most Definitely! Pagan Churches provide to the Seeker what covens can not. At the SDCW- ATC our list of services to the community are: 1) Providing a place of worship and fellowship. (A building and grounds) 2) Open Circles (Esbats & Sabbats) 3) Classes for the true seeker. (Student, 1st degree, 2nd degree, 3rd degree) 4) Maintains a library for it's members. 5) Provides spiritual counseling by licensed ordained clergy. 6) provides and performs Rites of Passage, such as Legal Handfastings, Crossovers, Wiccanings, etc.,for the pagan community. 7) Provides training programs for those who wish to be ordained clergy.8) Maintains an Adopt a Highway program (4 times a year) 9) Hosts a major Festival (Mayday) once a year. AND YES! All of this costs money. Most Pagan churches do not require titling. Most, including SDCW - ATC work off donations and small monthly dues.
So if you are a member of a Pagan Church, or even if you not, support your local Pagan Church. They are doing a lot of great things in this modern day and age.