Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Sunday the 22nd saw me travelling up the Falkirk and District Spiritualist Church at 8 Burnhead Lane, Falkirk FK1 4EW

This Church has been on the go since 1964 and certainly makes good use of its premises, as it can be in use the full 7 nights some weeks. There are three 3 public services each week, and one night of private sittings for Church Funds. The other evenings are used for development and awareness circles, plus some private events which take place fortnightly. The Falkirk and District Church is not short of home grown Mediums they have Joyce Wells, Abe Waddell, Ann Dibben, Jim Stevenson and  Martin Gilbert who are all excellent mediums.   Anne who is President has been studying hard over the past few years and has her SNU SD1, 2 and 4. She has just completed her SD3 and is waiting on the results. There are also two fledglings attached to the Church, Flo Back & Janette Harley. There is a lot of great support from Church members, there would have to be with the church opening its door so often. For example Isobel Stevenson has been a great help for many years - doing the raffle, and for a few years did all the catering for the church services. Former local Medium Mrs. Emily Manini and Mrs Zena McNaughton have worked hard for the Church over the years but don’t get along to too many services these days. We must not forget the dedicated group of Healers 6 qualified, 4 Trainees, and 2 new ones just arrived. We cannot mention the Falkirk Church without mentioning Alice Corner who has served the church in many roles throughout the years and is currently on the committee of the Scottish and Irish District Council. A really busy church which shines a bright light for Spiritualism. .
On Monday I was asked to give talk to a small history group and instead of talking on the history of Spiritualism I was asked to explain what Spiritualism is like today.  Not what I expected from such a group but they explained that they knew absolutely nothing about our religion and they would like to know the basics of Spiritualism in 2011 first and then they would like me to go back later in the year to talk on our religion’s history.  You may be thinking that was putting the cart before the horse but this group seemingly liked to know about the subject before going back to examine its roots.  I was more than comfortable with that because although I consider our history very important many people coming thorough our doors for the first time, or even the first few times, don’t want a history lesson but want an insight what maybe happing to a loved one that has just passed or they were wanting to know what they would encounter when they pass.  With my addresses I am always inspired by Spirit, never having made up a script before I stand up on the platform.  So Spirit usually gives out the right type of message for those in the congregation at that particular service.  We must not forget our history and try nor let the pioneers of Spiritualism down.

On Tuesday to the Cambuslang Spiritualist Church.  At one time when one heard the words “Cambuslang Spiritualist Church” we would think of Mary Hawthorn President of that church for many years and a well know medium in central Scotland.   Anne McCutcheon is now at the helm of this church... 

Thursday I was off to a busy Bellshill Christian Spiritualist Church. Where Rena Donaghey is President
Saturday I had the longest trip of the week as I headed south down the A76 to Dumfries and I always make three stops on the way down.

First at Kirkconnell and when the weather is good we go along some of the many walks and paths taking photos of the wildlife and flora that is abundant in that area. Then stopping miles further down the road at Sanquhar.  This small town has a very interesting museum and a Post Office that has been in constant use since 1712, and the sign above the door claims it is the oldest post office in the world.  The ruin of Sanquhar Castle lies at the edge of the town and running past the castle is the 212-mile Southern Upland Way.
A few miles down the road is one of my favourite towns in Scotland – Thornhill - with its tree lined Main Street.  It always surprises me that for such a small town it has as many shops selling quality goods.    Close to Thornhill is Dramlanrigg Castle which has a beautiful building and estate to explore

So anyone thinking of a day away this summer could do a lot worse that visit Kirkconnell, Sanquhar, Thornhill and Drumlanrig Castle.  But leave home early as there is a lot to take in, in this area.

Eventually I arrived at the Dumfries Spiritualist Church (SNU) in the Cumberland Day Centre in Cumberland Street.   This church has been going for over sixty years and the was the second church platform i ever stood on when with four other fledglings when the church was in Irish Street  Cilla was President for a good few years but last year when she moved abroad Kate McShane took over the role as President.  It is always a very busy church and that surprises many because the service is held on a Saturday evening.  Laura Montgomery a young medium from this church is now spreading her wings both north and south of the border and is accompanied by Joyce Wilson who gives the address.
I keep getting asked about where one goes to understand or improve their psychic abilities.  I believe I have mentioned before to go to a church that has an ‘open circle’ after a service.  This will let you see what it is all about.  You will be able to chat with both those sitting with you in the circle and members of the church committee. Then if you feel it is for you become a member of the church and ask to join in the next intake for the development circle.  Workshops are for later on and your church or a neighbour may provide appropriate workshops by visiting mediums. 

Monday, 23 May 2011

We took a break last week travelling down to Weston-super Mare on Monday...

On Tuesday we took a look around the town and although there are miles of clean sandy beaches I never set foot on the beach.  At low tide the sea can be almost a mile out from the beach front and the tidal rise and fall here is one of the largest in the world and can be 42ft. The new Grand Pier is impressive, the old one being burned down in 2008.  This is one seaside resort that is not in decline as this Pier welcomed over 100,000 visitors over the Easter weekend. The owners were expecting the Pier to attract around half a million visitors for the month of April.  As I was walking out to the end of the pier I wondered how many trees would have been felled for the decking of this 1,300ft long pier.

On Wednesday we travelled 34 miles east to the city of Bath.  Once we had a guided tour of the city we went straight to the Roman Baths and I would recommend this place to anyone visiting the area. The Bath’s museum is well organized and very informative displays detailing the history of the site. The museum gives great insight into the engineering and construction capabilities of the Romans.  An amazing atmosphere in one of the smaller baths and I cannot remember whether it.was the east or the west bath.  It was the larger of the two. 

Later we visited Bath Abbey and I was a bit disappointed.  A magnicent, building but little atmosphere that I usually find in such places.   This is only my view as the Abbey is a great tourist attraction.

Thursday turned out to be another interesting day.  First we visited the Cheddar Gorge and explored the caves that go deep into the Mendip Hills.  We spent so much time in the caves that we did not have time to walk around the lovely little village of Cheddar.

In the afternoon we visited Wells, the smallest city in England.  I found the Wells Cathedral an amazing place it had such a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere.    

On Friday we returned home to be met with a heavy rain shower as we crossed over the border into Scotland, this happens almost every time I cross the border heading north.

 But I should not be complaining about the rain as the farmers in the SE of England are crying out for rain.  Worse still an Ethiopian gentleman, after asking where I came from, went on to tell me of the terrible suffering in his country because of drought and he ended up by saying “Scotland is so lucky to have so much rain”.  That last statement really made me think, as we often take our own country for granted.

 A family from Thailand walked around Wells Cathedral with us and they were totally amazed at the building and its history, they said that they had never seen anything like it.  Yet we marvel at the magnificent sites of historical interest in Thailand.

I also spoke to a young Turkish gentleman who is working in England at the moment and his dream is to visit Scotland, especially Edinburgh.  Let’s hope that his dream comes true.

No, I am not working for the North Somerset Tourist Board but I am open to offers.

Dell contacted me with the following email

I have been attending a Spiritualist church for two years now and try to live my life according to Spiritualist values but I cannot bring myself to tell my family friends and workmates where I go on a Wednesday evening.”

I can sympathise with Dell because I was in the same situation many years ago.  When I did get around letting all this be known there were fewer sarcastic remarks than I expected, much fewer. No one seemed interested in what I was up too. Times have changed and if Dell does mention he is attending a Spiritualist church there will be a lot of interest, questions will be asked and I would not be surprised if the following is said “I have always wanted to go to a Spiritualist Church but have not wanted to go on my own, can i come with you one evening/”

 John asked; -

You mention Seven Principles I once read there was nine Principles”

The Spiritualist national Union which i am a member has Seven Principles; you may have been reading an article on The National Spiritualist Association of Churches (NSAC) which is based in the U.S.A.

They have nine principles which are; -

1.     We believe in Infinite Intelligence.

2.     We believe that the phenomena of Nature, both physical and spiritual, are the expression of Infinite Intelligence.

3.     We affirm that a correct understanding of such expression and living in accordance therewith, constitute true religion.

4.     We affirm that the existence and personal identity of the individual continue after the change called death.

5.     We affirm that communication with the so-called dead is a fact, scientifically proven by the phenomena of Spiritualism.

6.     We believe that the highest morality is contained in the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

7.     We affirm the moral responsibility of individuals, and that we make our own happiness or unhappiness as we obey or disobey Nature’s physical and spiritual laws.

8.     We affirm that the doorway to reformation is never closed against any soul here or hereafter.

9.     We affirm that the precepts of Prophecy and Healing are Divine attributes proven through Mediumship.

Many of you are asking about learning more about their psychic abilities and where is the best place to go.  This is a big issue especially to day when we are getting daily emails about workshops etc.  I will do my best to give my views on this over the next few weeks.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Tuesday 10th I was at Airdrie Spiritualist Church     .  This church has been running for 21-years and after meeting in Airdrie Town Hall for many years this church has settled in well to the Beech Bank Community Centre, Whinnhall, Airdrie.  The church is in the capable hands of Nan, Geraldine, Shona and Colin.  Geraldine is also an excellent medium
Wednesday evening it was a short trip to the Kilwinning Spiritualist Church       .  This church opened its doors 43-years ago and is always well attended.  Margaret Jamieson a medium / psychic researcher and Jean make everyone welcome. In the congregation on Wednesday evening were John Edgar and his wife Janette.  John is a well known medium who entered a Spiritualist Church for the first time half-a-century ago and has been taking services at our churches for over 45-years.   The Kilwinning Temple of Light Spiritualist Church Nethermains Community Centre Kilwinning Ayrshire
Even though there were heavy showers throughout most of Thursday there was a good turnout at the Langside Halls Spiritualist Church.  It is good to see President Anne Mccutcheon looking so well so soon after her operation.
It was a pleasure to be asked to be one of the mediums taking part in Kilmarnock Spiritualist Church’s Open Day, which raised £1315.55p for McMillan Nurses - Breast Cancer.  A lot of work goes into such days and we must not forget the hard work by the committee and those who did the baking.

Marie asks “Would you like to be involved in all this much earlier in your life?”
At one time I would have said “yes” but now I feel that I became aware of Spirit and Spiritualism at the right time in my life.  Most of the interests I had at that time all seemed to come to a sudden end so as several doors seemed to slam shut in my life, the light coming though a new open door beaconed me.    As I have mentioned in other parts of this web-site I went towards a Spiritualist Church for answers as to why I was able to see our little whippet Sherry a few hours after she had passed.  If I still had those other interests at that time I would have left with an explanation and not bothered to return. 
Alexander Graham Bell wrote; --
When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open up for us”
Looking back on my life I now can see that when so many doors closed, others opened, but on many occasions I was not aware of them.   Probably I was too attached to the past, comfortable and cosy with what I was used too, and that I was too busy moaning about what had gone, turning a blind eye to new opportunities. That gladly has passed and now I am hopefully aware of most opportunities that present themselves to me.  But with any opportunity one has the free-will whether to take it up or not.   I like to think that these days I ‘go with the flow’ in life.  Not forcing issues but sizing up what appears in front of me and take time to think if it for me or not.
Angies asked,
“In a few simple words tell me the difference between a Medium and a Psychic”.

All Mediums are psychic - but not all Psychics are mediumistic. Psychics, whether conscious of it or not, receive their information from the living vibrations of energy around them at earthly levels.  Where Mediums will unconsciously at first and later deliberately, link in too energies not of this vibration what we would call the Spirit World.
With talk of opening the case of Madeline McCann who went missing in Portugal in 2007 I hope the authorities decide to have a fresh look at the cases of Ben Needam, Genette Tate and all the other missing children that have not been found.  It is unthinkable to lose a child through illness or an accident but to have one’s child disappear and parents not know where they are, and what has happened to them, must be the worst thing that could happen to any parent. Also the other week there was the sad news that mother of Moors Murder victim Keith Bennett has revealed she may have just months to find out where her son is buried after she was diagnosed with cancer.  This poor soul has spent the best part of her life hoping that her son’s body will be found.   Lest hope that Mrs Winnie Johnson , Keith’s mother’s  prayers are answered, and soon.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011


Sunday 1st May saw me taking the service of Coatbridge Spiritualist Church.  This church first opened its doors just after the war and has services on a Sunday at 6.30pm and Tuesdays at 7.30pm.  Their address is 135 Sunnyside Road, Coatbridge.
On Tuesday evening I had a very enjoyable time with the development group at the Larkfield Spiritualist Church in Blantyre.  There is a lot of talent in that group.
Then on Wednesday it was The Eternal Light Spiritualist Centre.  Francis and Patricia-Anne Murphy run this church and the services are on a Wednesday evening at 7.30pm in The Citadel, Ayr.
As I was early for the church I took a look around Ayr harbour and the magical memories I had of this place when I was young, do not correspond with the area around Ayr harbour these days.  I have memories of the smell of the fish as the fishing boats unloaded their catch and then the chanting of the auctioneers selling the fish.  Now the fishing fleet has moved a few miles north to Troon.  I used to enjoy walking around the harbour basin, looking to see what parts of the world the cargo ships had come from.  Now one cannot get into the basin because of security and health and safety rules.  Probably the most exciting memory was going with my grandfather and uncle to fish out at the end of the harbour near the lighthouse.  I am not sure if one gets out as far as that these days.  Nothing ever stays the same and to progress we have to move on but we can still have the memories of the past to look back on.    
How long should I wait before a private sitting with a medium - a week – a month?” is a question, constantly asked. 
There is no set time but I believe a general rule of thumb is to wait around six months after the passing of a loved-one.  Wait till at least part of the pain has gone and your grief is less severe before making that appointment.  But that in no way means that you should not visit a Spiritualist Church during that time.  Attend our services and get an insight into our religion and how mediumship works.  . 
“Hymns sung in Spiritualist churches, are they the same as those sung in orthodox churches?  This question was asked by both Adam and Marie
We do have hymns that are specially written for the Spiritualist movement but Spiritualism also uses hymns of the Christian faith.  In some instances there have been adaptations of the words.  The SNU has a hymn book containing over 400 hymns and also a mini hymn book containg 60 hymns in large print - and can be ordered from their web site. 

Monday, 2 May 2011

Only one church service last week and it was the first time I had attended Stranraer Spiritualist Church.  Not only a great welcome from Marie and Linda but a wonderful relaxing and cosy atmosphere in the church. This church is way out on a limb as far as Spiritualist churches in Scotland are concerned as our nearest churches to this town are Dumfries 73-miles east and Cumnock  64-miles to the north.  So it is great to see the Stranraer church shining so brightly in the SE of Scotland.
A big part of the rest of the week was taken up by taking time for those who have contacted myself or a Spiritualist church for help, answers, information etc.  What maybe should be termed as ‘pastoral work’, maybe something that is a bit overlooked in spiritualism as not all are looking for ‘sittings’ etc
A few weeks ago I overheard a conversation by a group of people waiting for a healing service to start and they rhymed off the mediums they had seen in the past year.  It left me wondering if they could name the spiritualist healers they had attended in the past twelve months?  Our healers should not be taken for granted because they work as hard as mediums
Now to answer some of your questions; -
Joe asks, “If there was a league table of religions in Britain where would Spiritualism be?
Hi Joe – The last article I saw on this was that Spiritualism was said to be the 8th largest religion in the UK and that I believe was taken from the results from the 2001 National census.  So within the next year new data will come to light from the 2011 census.  I have no doubt our numbers will be up in the past ten years but will that be enough to move us up a position or two? We will have to wait and see.
Angela’s question is – “What is mental mediumship
Mental mediumship occurs when a spirit sends messages through the mind of the medium. This can produce phenomena such as:
Clairvoyance: Seeing spirits
Clairaudience: Hearing spirits
Clairsentience: Sensing spirits in some other way

What are “Spirit beings?” asks Leslie

Spirit beings are people who have physically died and moved to the spirit world.
Spiritualists believe that people do this regardless of their allegiance to a particular faith or even their lack of faith.
Spiritualists believe that spirit beings can 'show' themselves (or in some way make themselves known) to people in the material world.
James comments “When I attended Spiritual services in the late 80s and early 90s at times I was the only male in the congregation, is it still the same, mostly females attend your services?”
I know where you are coming from James.  My first Spiritualist church was ASK in Stewarton and there were a good few male members of our church, but when I went out taking services at other churches in Ayrshire it was often 100%  female congregations.  When I stepped on the platform of my first Glasgow church, Jocelyn Square at the Saltmarket, I was surprised to see so many men in the congregation.  I remember counting them to try and forget how nervous I was and the male attence that night was 40%.  Now in Ayrshire and in other parts of Scotland the difference between male and female is far less pronounced