Friday, 16 March 2012

Ordination of Minister Bill Thomson... SNU Ministers' Role... Why all Church mediums Should Sit Through an ordination Service... Gandhi's Seven Sins... A poem by Jackie McLaughlin...

February 24th – 28th I was at the Glasgow Association   (SNU) over the five days the medium is busy with four services Open Circle and private sittings on four of the five days.
1st - March I was at the Blantyre Spiritualist Church.  A busy church with a very enthusiastic committee and a lot of talent in their development circle.
2nd - was a full day of taking time for those who had contacted our churches for help or information.
3th- I was on a journey north to take the service at the Inverness Spiritualist Church (SNU).  This city in the north, in fact all around the north east of Scotland there are many devoted spiritualists.
7th - my booking was cancelled so it let me put in a few extra hours voluntary work.

 While at the Glasgow Association of Spiritualists on the 25th I waited on after the morning sittings as we were invited to a very special service.  Minister Bill Thomson’s Ordination Service.  Bill is the Spiritualist National Union’s latest minister.
Many people will be surprised that there is such a thing as Spiritualist Ministers, there are, although not enough.
Since 1939 the SNU has been legally recognized by the Home Office to appoint people who demonstrate the right characteristics to hold the highest office within SNU Spiritualism.
The Ministership of the SNU is granted to those who have been selected as worthy to represent Spiritualism by their educational qualifications, practical ability and good example they give as Ministers of Religion.
Our Ministers have the same rights and privileges as any other Minister of Religion. The Ministry is administrated by the Ministers Administrative Committee under the direct control of the National Executive Committee of the SNU.
There are both Ministers and Officiants (registered as Celebrants in Scotland) who work within the SNU Ministry
Duties of Ministers are:
§  To act as ambassadors for Spiritualism at all times
§  To actively promote Spiritualism
§  To conduct all Spiritualist Official Services on request
§  To advise SNU churches on request regarding all matters
§  To provide advice to individuals as required.
§  To train prospective Ministers and Officiants
§  Visiting prisoners as part of the prison Chaplaincy
§  Visiting hospitals in a Chaplaincy role
§  Providing a Chaplaincy service within the Armed forces
§  Where specifically trained to provide counseling services to individuals
§  To sign and authorize passports and other legal documents as defined by the Home Office.
One of the major roles within the Ministry is prison and hospital visiting and their importance cannot be over stated. The needs Spiritual of prisoners are often complex and demanding. It is their job to act as a spiritual advisor, to help the prisoner cope with life under very difficult circumstances. Also, by teaching them Spiritualist philosophy, it may be helping them not to re-offend when they are eventually released into the community.
Within hospitals the role is just as demanding, as part of the Chaplaincy team our Ministers may be called upon to administer prayer, advice on all aspects of death and what the patient believes follows, but our Ministers role is to try and remove the fears associated with actual physical death by increasing the understanding of the patient. More demanding are the responsibilities to the relatives of patients, our Ministers have to show unending patience and understanding to relatives mindful of never denigrating any other faith or belief system.
Additionally a significant part of the role in hospital can be removing prejudice from patients and hospital staff alike, patience and understanding of all individuals’ beliefs is a major attribute of our Ministers.
Officiant of the SNU (OSNU)
The appointment of Officiant is granted to those who have completed relevant courses of study and who are considered capable of conducting services such as marriages, funerals and naming ceremonies.
Duties of Officiants:
 To act as ambassadors for Spiritualism at all times
To conduct all Spiritualist Official services on request
Where qualified to visit prisoners as part of the Chaplaincy
Where qualified to visit hospitals as part of the Chaplaincy
To assist in the training of future Officiants.

 Why are there so few Spiritualist Ministers?
 With the SNU it is not just a few weeks of courses and then one is ordained as a Minister.  It is as one would expect a long journey from applying to be a Minister and actually being ordained.  A lot of time, effort, determination and frustration is what one is signing up for. But the end result is worth it for the person who completes the course successfully, for Spiritualism and for those that the minister will help throughout his Ministry career. 
 Few can spare the time with bringing up a family, work commitments and other situations that befall us in today’s rat race.  So although there will be new minister being ordained I cannot see the numbers increase dramatically in the next few years.

Bill Thomson is a Glasgow lad who became aware of spirit at the age of ten and went to his first spiritualist church, Kilmarnock Spiritualist Church two years later.  Bill left Glasgow at the age of 16 and joined the army where he stayed for 14 years. After the passing of Bill’s parents he returned to Glasgow and took up the reins of developing his abilities as a medium by joining the Glasgow Association of Spiritualists where much of his development was done Bill also served on the committee of the Glasgow Association for 10 years as a member and also as a vice president.
As well as being a Minister of the Spiritualist National Union, which is the highest appointment within the SNU,  he has achieved a great variety of awards with the Spiritualist National Union holding Diplomas in Public Speaking and academic B - Foundation, as well as Certificates of Recognition in Public Speaking and Demonstration.
 Bill’s achievements don’t end there, as he is an approved tutor of the Arthur Findlay College at Stanstead and gives courses at the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre in Edinburgh.
 I am sure we all wish Bill well on his new path in this life.
 Bill’s website is at

 I feel that the SNU’s Ordination Service is one that all church mediums should sit through.  To show that standing on the platform is not just a step in the direction of fame and fortune but that spiritualism the religion is judged by their actions on and off the platform.


I had planned in this blog to mention a bit about the lives of two great stalwarts of our religion Jock McArhur and Tilda Wilson from Fife who both passed away last month.    But I have decided that a member of ASK Dunfermline would be better commenting on the lives of these two great ambassadors for spirit.  


It does not bear thinking about, the trauma that the parents of those children who were in the Belgium coach crash in Switzerland are going through at this moment.    The Situation was made much worse by the length of time the parents had to wait before knowing what children had survived or not.  This incident is always a parent’s worst nightmare.
We must not forget the adults killed in the crash as most if not all of them, they will have children who are grieving at the loss of a father our mother.  I am sure we all pray that those who have survived the crash soon recover form their physical injuries. 
I am sure that those who have lost a family member or friend will get all the support they need from those around them and from the spirit world.  Let us hope that the media gives them all the privacy that they need at this time.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Spiritualism A Religion? / What Can Spiritualism Do For Me? / Mrs. Primrose / Respect For The Disable.

The 11th February saw me taking the first of six workshops at the Glasgow Association.   Everyone attending was most enthusiastic to learn about and enhancing their psychic abilities.
13th it was a short distance for an evening of clairvoyance at Kilmarnock Spiritualist Church.  That evening the church made a presentation to the McMillan Nurses.   The £371 was collected from a charity tray that churchgoers gave generously too over a period of time.
The 14th it was again only a few miles up the road, this time to ASK Neilston.   Sheila Caruthers is President and with her committee has put a lot of hard work into making is church a success.
15th saw me giving a talk on Spiritual Healing
20th – again mostly short distances to travel this month and this time my destination was to the very busy Saltcoats Spiritualist Church.  This was one of the first churches I took a service and about 17-years ago.
21st  A little further but not too far to ASK Cumbernauld where there is almost a full house each week.

February saw two great ambassadors for spirit move over to the spirit world.- Jock McArthur and Tilda Wilson both from Fife.  I will write more about them in my next blog.

Doug writes; - “What can Spiritualism do for me?”
Doug Spiritualism can
  Remove the fear of death
Comfort the bereaved
Demonstrate the truth of survival and communication
Give healing to the sick and hope to the lonely
Reveal a new meaning and purpose to life
  Over the next few weeks I will take each of these points one at a time and give my views on them
 Sandra comments: -
“I find it very difficult to comprehend the belief of Spiritualism as a religion. If it could be viewed more as a far better way of life it would probably be better understood and accepted”.
Hi Sandra. 
 I can understand where you are coming from.  I am involved with people on a regular basis who want to know more about spiritualism etc and the part they find hard to accept is that spiritualism is a religion.
 Since the passing of "The Fraudulent Mediums Act" in 1951, Spiritualism has been a legally recognized and protected religion in the United Kingdom.  Spiritualism is a way of life. It combines philosophy, science and religion. It covers a very wide field, and, therefore, you cannot expect to understand it without a certain amount of study.   Personally I look on spiritualism as a religion and a way of life.

The surname “Primrose” is not too common a name.  In fact in the US there are just over 1,200 with this surname and its popularity rating is way down at 20,267.  I was surprised to find the surname is of pure Scottish origin and derives from 'the lands of primrose' in Dunfermline.
Yet this surname is well known in Glasgow and the west of Scotland, especially by those who have even showed only the the slightest interest in Spiritualism.  This is down to Mrs. Jean Primrose, affectionately know and “Primmie”.  Jean was an accomplished and respected medium for over sixty years.  Many of those years were when our religion was not as well accepted as it is today.  Many who met Mrs. Primrose believed that the simple foundation for her accomplishment with the spirit world began with her loving and caring personality.
I did not meet Jean but those who have, tell me that at the first impression of her was how unassuming person she was.  No need for stage effects or flashy showmanship, it was her quiet determination and welcoming disposition which shone through.
Mrs. Primrose was referred to in more than one media article as “The Florence Nightingale of the Spirit World”.  She was a leading member of the Greater World Christian Spiritualist Association.
Her church is still going strong under the care of her daughter  May Primrose.
The Fred Paton Day Care Centre
19 Carrington Street
G4 9AJ

On the way home on Friday evening I was listening to Stephen Nolan programme on BBC’s Five-Live.
All who  were tuned in must have been near to tears as they listened to a cardiologist described how his life was ruined after being blinded in an attack fourteen years ago.  He told how he was ignored by friends and colleagues after losing his sight.  He spoke to Stephen in response to the death of PC Rathband who struggled to come to terms with his blindness after being shot.
Both the cardiologist and PC Rathband had so much experience in their chosen profession that surely there was some capacity that both could have given a lot back to society.  Surely employers and in fact all of us can do more for those who are in similar positions as these two gentlemen?
There are many who feel uneasy or uncomfortable around disabled people, I was like this in a way at one time.  I think that most of us in this position are afraid to disrespect the person by saying the wrong thing or acting the wrong way, and not because of their disability.   I remember feeling guilty for days after a conversation with a blind gentleman.  During our conversation I could have bit my lip when I said
I see that the roads are finally getting around to filling the pot holes in”. 
Then when he was talking about a Panorama programme I said
Did you see the programme two weeks ago?”
After that I never felt comfortable around Archie, not because of his disability but in case I would come out with the wrong choice of words.
A friend who has worked all her life with the disabled has often said one, of the worst things we can while in the company of a disabled person is to avoid speaking to them, perhaps instead speaking to everyone else that is accompanying the person. Instead, speak to the disabled person and make direct eye contact. Avoid discussing the person’s disability; there are lots of other things to talk about! Speak to disabled adults just as you would speak to anyone else.  It is so disrespectful to ignore them.
 Be Patient.  If the disabled person has a speech problem, be patient and listen carefully, giving the person your undivided attention. If you don’t understand what is being said, simply ask!   Do not pretend to know what was said as it could bite you back. Don’t be afraid to ask the person to offer some paper and a pen for them to write down what they are trying to say. When done in a polite manner, there will be no uncomfortable feelings.
 I get very angry when I see people parking in Disabled Parking Bays.
Don’t ever park in a handicapped parking spot, even if you will only be gone for a moment. It only takes a moment for a disabled person to arrive and find no place to park. For that matter, we should always leave handicapped restroom facilities and handicapped seating on transportation vacant so a handicapped person will not have trouble accessing a seat.

 A few months ago I saw a rumpus in a car park.  A disabled lady could not get into a designated disabled parking bay and had to park some distance away.  She fell leaving the car park but luckily did not injure herself.   Those around got angry and approached the driver of a small sports car in the disabled parking bay.    He was not interested and said “For all you know I could be disabled as well and left my blue badge at home”.   That could be correct but in forgetting his badge he had no right to park in those designated bays.    He had been jogging around the car park and on returning to his car was doing press-ups. 
 Never assume anything about a disabled person’s strengths or limitations. Someone in a wheelchair is not always paralyzed. Someone that has speech impairment or a body impediment is not always mentally impaired. If you are in doubt, simply ask the person in a gentle and caring way.
 All common sense.....................