Monday, 15 October 2012


24 th September saw me driving the short distance to Kilmarnock Spiritualist Church (SNU) for an evening of clairvoyance.  This church has its own premises and is a stalwart in promoting spiritualism with its excellent workshops etc.  Anyone interested in learning more about spiritualism and their own psychic abilities should keep an eye on this church’s website for forthcoming events.
27th I was heading north and east to the Arbroath Spiritualist Centre.  (SNU) 
30th I t was my first visit to the Milngavie and Bearsden Spiritualist Sanctuary.   Although the sanctuary only opened its doors a few weeks ago it is already a firm favourite with the local community.  This new spiritual venture has its Divine Service on a Sunday afternoon, like Largs Spiritualist Church (SNU). These are the only two Spiritual services I know which take place on Sunday afternoons and as both are well attended, so it may be worthwhile other churches thinking of a Sunday afternoon service.
The sanctuary veers away slightly from our normal service with no opening prayer.  In its place it has five minutes of contemplation which gives us our own personal space to link with God, our loved ones in Spirit, or just to reflect on our week. Not something I would have done if I had a church of my own but I must say that I was impressed  as each minute of the ‘time for reflection passed’ I could feel the atmosphere getting stronger and spirit drawing close. But not only that – this Sanctuary has taken another bold step which I will comment on later in the blog.

 1st October I was heading north to the well supported Inverneness Spiritualist Church, Smithton Halls.  (SNU)  The interest in spiritualism has been growing for many years now and I am impressed by the enthusiasm for our religion in this area.  I have another comment to make about this enthusiasm later in the blog...

5th – 9th I was at the Glasgow Association of Spiritualists. (SNU)  There was a big turnout at the Awareness Group on the Friday evening and all four services were well attended.

The new Psychic News will receive many letters and it will be impossible to print them all.  I sent in a letter a few weeks ago and it was not printed, maybe because of the limited space or because I was criticising the magazine.
Here is the letter: -
Dear PN,
I am shocked that the New Psychic News revised Spiritualist of the Year.

No disrespect to this year’s winner, Mr. Eric Hatton, but surely by reviving such a thing, goes against all that Spiritualism stands for?  I thought that we were all equal in the eyes of God and Spirit?  That we are all going along our own spiritual path as best we can.  To pick one in front of another is not what we preach from the platform, so why do we not practice what we preach?
I believe the biggest danger to Spiritualism as a religion these days is that many look on it as entertainment.  Look how the entertainment industry has an award for almost everything.  Well, we certainly are going down the entertainment path with this award. 
How long before we have a televised “Spiritual Medium of the Year” and if we are going to go down that trail we cannot leave out our Healers and have a televised “Spiritual Healer of the Year” also.  The next step would be the “X- Factor” for fledgling mediums to show their talents to the viewers.  
We are already playing into the hands of our critics as more and more mediums names go up in lights outside of theatres.  We are only shooting ourselves in the foot with this award.  What other religion has such an award?  If we continue in this direction we will be leaving religion behind and entering the world of entertainment.
I wonder what Spirit has thought of all this?  Has anyone thought to ask them?
Tom Johnston.


Since I have come into spiritualism I have constantly heard the comments “We are never part of the official parade on Rembrance Day”.  

Laying a wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday in Whitehall has for a long time been an issue between the SNU and the British Government, considering that other major UK religious denominations are represented at the annual national service of remembrance.  More about this in my next blog...
But I have often wondered at a local level why our churches do not take part in remembrance Day Services.   Stirling Spiritualist Church has taken part in the local Remembrance Service for many years now and on asking Stirling’s President  how this came about,  I was told the church was invited to take part.  There will be other Spiritualist churches scattered about the country which also take part.  But if we are not invited then we should we not ask  to be part of this service?  I know of one church who asked to be involved and were turned down, the reason for that being they were late in applying or permission for that particular year.  I don’t know if they asked to be part of the ceremony the following year. 

But this year the Milngavie and Bearsden Spiritualist Sanctuary which has only had its doors open for a few weeks will be laying a wreath at the Milngavie Precinct at the Remembrance Ceremony.    Maybe at local level we Spiritualist have been complaining rather than asking?  Maybe we have lacked the determination of the pioneers of modern-day.



                                GIVE MEDIUMS FROM THE HIGHLANDS A CHANCE...
In the past and even today, churches in the north of the country have had to rely on mediums from the central belt of Scotland to take many of their services.  That means on most occasions an overnight stay at cost to the church and there is also travelling expenses.  With the enthusiasm in that area for several years many excellent mediums are coming on the scene in our northern regions.  But they seldom seemed to get asked to take services in the central belt.  That may be because in the central and southern areas Scotland we’ve always had a plentiful supply of mediums on our doorstep and the churches have not thought of looking north.  Yes, it will add to the expenses with the medium travelling further and could entail a night in a B&B, but the churches in the north have coped with this on a regular basis for years so it should not be beyond the purse strings of many churches further south.  After all we have visiting mediums from England and Northern Ireland.

                       PSYCHIC ABILITIES - START OF WITH THE BASICS...           
Bernard emails “It seems as if everyone wants to be mediums these days.  Soon the platforms will be full with only one or two sitting in the pews”.
Hi Bernard, I can see where you are coming from but let’s look at it another way.  More and more people are becoming aware of spiritualism these days and realizing that we all have some degree of psychic ability.  They are drawn to open-circles and workshops to try to understand and develop these abilities.  That I find encouraging.  

But... many of these open-circles and workshops are geared to platform work and sittings instead of starting off with the basics.   First we have to understand what these abilities are and slowly building on this, as we do with any learning process.  But at the moment a great many of these development circles and workshop seem to start at primary 7 instead of in the infant class. 

These days it is not uncommon for anyone showing any ability to be pushed on to the platform of a church or at a charity night at a very early stage in their development.  This is usually detrimental to the pupil’s development and on many occasions to the person getting the message.
To give you a few examples of this to try and explain it from all angles;
A mother was happy that her daughter decided to join a group at a small church because she knew from an early age her daughter had psychic abilities.  All went well for six months; the young lady was developing well and becoming much more confident in her everyday life.  Instead of feeling different from others around her she was slowly starting to understand why she had felt this way.  Then one night the medium’s car broke down and he could not get to the church on time.  The young lady and another circle member of limited circle experience were told they were taking the service and were pushed on the platform.  According to the mother the night was disastrous in every way for the two young ladies.  Neither has gone back to the church or any church since.  This should not have happened and would not have happened if those in charge of the church had acted as they should have and shown a little common sense.

Another case where a young gentleman is very talented and sensible.  He realises he has a lot to learn as he goes quietly along his spiritual path having no plans for the platform.  In fact no plans to stand on the platform for many years yet, as in the next two years he is expecting promotion at work and hoping to start a family.  He is happy to sit in what many would call an old fashioned church circle where development takes at a slow pace.  Yet some are to trying to ‘poach’ him away from his circle to take part in charity nights or church work.  Luckily this young man has his head screwed on the right way and is standing his ground, refusing to give way to the pressure.
But there are two sides to this as there are also many who want after a few months the glamour of being on the platform, taking part in a charity nights or the lucrative side of private sittings and psychic parties.

How long does it take for a medium to be the finished article?  How long is a piece of string?  It depends on the training and the time the person has to give to his or her development.  Some mediums have said that they sat in circle for sixteen years before they were asked to take the platform.  Many will say this is far too long and in most cases I will agree with them.  In the past there were fewer opportunities so one may have had to wait till a medium retired from the circuit or passed over before a place became vacant.

I feel that more responsibility should be taken by those taking development circles and workshops.  There should be many more opportunities for those who just want to understand their psychic abilities and how they can affect their everyday lives.  This to be before and separate from platform training.
Whoever is taking the workshop has a lot of responsibility on their shoulders.  As ‘psychic’ means sensitive and there will be a lot of sensitive people relying on them to put them gently on the right path, not to force march them into areas they are not ready for.

But there are those as I have said earlier who see a lucrative market in jumping on the ‘spiritualist bandwagon’.  This is where spiritualist churches, centres etc that are true to their religion should be strong and make sure that those who take their services look on spiritualism as a religion first and foremost.