Sunday, 29 December 2013

My Diary... A Mockery of Divine Justice... Kilmarnock Spiritualist Church... A Stray Cat's Prayer...2013 Looking Back...

20th November I was at the College of Parapsychology, Edinburgh.   The college has an interesting programme throughout the year their website is worth checking out for the latest details.
24th Was my last visit to Fife for the year and I was attending the Dunfermline Spiritualist Church, 3 Lady Campbell’s walk.
27th Only a few miles up the road to ASK Neilston for a workshop.
28th – There was a big turnout at the Larkfield Spiritualist Church, Blantyre.  This church opened its doors in 2007 and was quickly accepted by the community.  The church supports many causes including Hessilhead Wildlife centre in Ayrshire where we are currently sponsoring a roe deer named Scoobie.
1st – December I was at the Ayr Spiritualist Centre, 10 Alloway Place.
2nd – There was a good turnout at the Pollockshaws and District Spiritualist Church.
3rd – Another good turnout for The Central Glasgow Spiritualist Church’s Tuesday afternoon service.  64 Berkeley Street, Glasgow, G3 7DS
4th – I had a short journey down the road to The Kilwinning Temple of Light Spiritualist Church, Kilwinning.  This was one of the first churches I took a service at.  This has always been a church that has been well supported by the local community.
5th Weather caused me to postpone the development circle.  In all the years – even in bad winters I have seldom had to cancel because of the weather.
8th –I took the Divine Service at Kilmarnock Spiritualist Church on a very wet evening.  So wet that parts of the road were flooded and I am surprised there was a congregation.
9th – I was again back at Kilmarnock and it was a privilege to share the platform with three of the churches fledglings.   Well done Andy, Elizabeth and Nadine And I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Kilmarnock church for letting me play a part in the development of their fledglings...
Silver Birch comments; -
It is a mockery of divine justice to think that death-bed repentance will wipe away all the wrongs you have done”.  Yet there are many in other religions who believe a death-bed admission of wrong will clear the path in Heaven for their new life.  That is why I look on our 5th Principle- Personal Responsibility – as being so important and makes it on par with the Clairvoyance in making us so different from other religions
And my thoughts above fitted in perfectly when asked at a discussion group recently, “What is the biggest gulf to bridge between Spiritualism and Christianity”...  As I was the only Spiritualist attending I am sure I shocked everyone by not coming out with “”Clairvoyance”.  I opted for “Our 5th Principle – Personal Responsibility”.
As Spiritualists we are responsible for our own actions and that no one can bear them for us.  We cannot look on a death-bed confession as a guarantee of forgiveness and we will have nothing to answer for as we move into a new existence.  To do as we please during our prime and then to utter a few words as this life slips away thinking all will be forgiven, surely does not say much for us as an individual or do anything for the reputation of our religion.    We know that as we discard this physical body it is not the end.  The more effort we put into taking Personal Responsibility for our own deeds in this life, the smoother it will be for us in our next life.
Some of those attending were shocked that I did not pray on a daily basis that my sins be forgiven.  Several of the group kept repeating “”We are all sinners – including you”.  Yes, I don’t think anyone leads a perfect life but we just cannot go along each day collecting yellow and red cards, to use a football expression, and then to mutter a few words at the end of each day to get these cards rescinded.  And even we Spiritualists carrying Personal Responsibility to the fore cannot lead faultless lives.  These days we are part of an almighty rat race and the best we can do is hopefully making the right decision at the time.  If later we feel we could have acted differently then we can comfort ourselves by knowing that we did what we felt was right at the time.
Some religions = a religion of salvation by conformity, whilst Spiritualism = a religion of progression by endeavour.
One gentleman on the night brought up what I thought was a comical but also serious food for thought “Just say I am happy to go through life being greedy and tramping on the toes of others.  Having the best life I can, relying on the insurance of asking for forgiveness on my death-bed.  THEN SUDDENLY – I drop dead in the High Street... What becomes of me in the thereafter? There was no time to say I am sorry”. 
I am not making fun or being anti other religions but I feel that one should be able to look openly at their religion and see if what they have been led to believe over the years adds up... 

The Kilmarnock Spiritualist Church, founded in 1936 this church has long been a place of welcome, support and learning for all those who have entered its doors. This church is proud to be affiliated to the SNU, the leading Spiritualist organization in the UK.  And a quote from the church’s website.  This church offers an open door to all who wish to enter and hope the saying “...there are no strangers here , only friends who have yet to meet” holds true for all who do” . For those living within traveling distance of the Kilmarnock church and want to know a little more about Spiritualism the Tuesday Group is something you may consider.  This friendly informal group meets at 2pm to investigate and explore all aspects of Spiritualism A very varied and interesting programme is in place and all members and non members alike are welcome to attend

 Weekly services include :

 Divine Service, this in structure probably resembles more orthodox services held on a Sunday at 6pm …with music, a speaker and a demonstration of Medium ship

 Public Demonstration of Medium ship held on a Monday evening at 7-30pm

 Healing Services are held throughout the week and are again open to everyone who would care to join with us and receive the benefits of Spiritual Healing  1pm on Tuesday…7pm on Thursday evenings —and 11am on a Saturday.

 The highlight of the year for many as far as Spiritualism is concerned  is “The Kilmarnock Experience”.  This is a  fantastic teaching  weekend of lectures , workshops and demonstrations with highly acclaimed mediums and tutors .
This is an opportunity to continue to develop and expand your psychic, spiritual
and mediumistic potential to the fullest in an atmosphere of harmony and fellowship.

One of the pleasures of being on the platform of Kilmarnock Spiritualist Church is that on the platform one gets to admire the amazing stain glass window in memory of Duncan Bicket who was president of the church for close on three decades.  I find that I get great inspiration from looking at the window during the service, whether it is daylight or the street light that is shining through.    My only regret is that the congregation are not facing this beautiful window throughout the service.


                          A Stray Cat'S Prayer

Dear God, please send me somebody who’ll care…
I’m so tired of running and sick with despair.
My body is aching and filled with such pain,
And I pray for a cure as I run through the rain.

That someone will love me and give me a home,
A warm cozy bed, and food of my own.
My last owner left me alone in the yard…
I watched as they moved, and man that was hard.

So I waited a while, then went on my way,
To rummage in garbage and live as a stray.
But now, I’m so tired and hungry and cold,
And I’m so afraid that I will never grow old.

They’ve chased me with sticks and hit with straps,
While I run through the street just looking for scraps.
I’m not really bad, please help if you can.
For I have become just a “victim of man.”

I’m wormy, I’m starving and ridden with fleas;
And all that I want is an owner to please.
If you find one for me, I’ll try to be good.
I won’t scratch the carpet; I’ll do as I should.

I would love them, play their games and try to obey.
I would be so grateful if they’d only let me stay!
I don’t think I’ll make it too long on my own,
Because I am getting weak and I’m so all alone.

Each night as I sleep in the bushes I cry,
I am so afraid that soon I am going to die.
I’ve got so much love and devotion to give,
Couldn’t I be given a new chance to live?

So dear God, please hear me, please answer my prayer,
And send someone to me who REALLY WILL CARE.


Since its resurrection in December 2011the Psychic News has went from strength to strength and is now a glossy monthly magazine.  But I hope that this magazine does not become all glamour, glitter and celebrities.  We need more space for letters from readers, articles on the experience of the ordinary people who attend our churches...

2013 - Looking Back.....

Over the past few years I have been concerned about the closure of community halls and the increase in rental of those which stay open.  But so far this has not had too much of an impact on our churches.  Long may it remain that way?

Having it confirmed by the SNU that they will take action against any award holder that gives a demonstration of clairvoyance where drink is consumed.  We only need our churches to follow suit as far as the mediums that appear on their platforms.
The entertainment side still grows but maybe not as fast as in recent years.

The ego, fame and fortune still clings to the coat tails of our religion and is something that is not going to go away unless we meet it head on.
But I have seen worse years as far as ‘Spiritualism the Religion is concerned.

*** Plese excuse any mistakes as the PC or the site is playing up this exening***


Thursday, 28 November 2013

Remembrance Service...More...Congregation Participation... Your Views... Good and Bad News... Cinderella...

27th / 28th October I was at the Glasgow Central Spiritualist Church, Berkley Street, G3 7DS.  There was a good turn-out on both evenings considering the atrocious weather.
31st – I had a short drive to ASK Dreghorn.  This church could be doing with a little more support so why not pop along at 7.30 on a Thursday evening to the Townend Community Centre, Townfoot, Dreghorn, Ayrshire, KA11 4EQ.
2nd November – It is always a pleasure to serve the Love and Friendship Spiritualist Church, The Couper Institute,  86 Clarkston Road, Cathcart, Glasgow G44 3DA.  President and excellent Spiritualist Medium in her own right Maureen Wisner (Land) still keeps the old-fashioned values of Spiritualism going.  More about that later... 
5th – I attended the Cambuslang Spiritualist Church which has recently returned to its home at the Cambuslang Institute, Greenlees Road after a major hall refurbishment....
9th – My workshop was postponed at the Glasgow Association and will now take place on the 16th November...
10th – It was a privilege to be asked to take the Remembrance Service at Largs Spiritualist Church, The Brisbane Centre, Bath Street, Largs,  KA30 8BL. (Sunday 2.30pm).
11th – It is always a pleasure to head north to the Smithton Hall,
Smithton, Inverness. IV2 7NP  The people of this region have great enthusiasm for Spiritualism.  I say once again as the churches in this area have many mediums from the central belt of Scotland taking their services – few of the churches down this way invite from the north is it not about time this changed?
14th – I attended the Pyramid Spiritualist Church, Leithland Neighbourhood Centre, Kempsthorn Road, Pollock, G53 5SR.  A friendly little church which gets good support from the local community.
16th – I take my final workshop of the year at the Glasgow Association.
17th - Family health problems meant I had to cancel my trip to Perth Spiritualist Church... I look forward to seeing you all next year.

In the past year or so there have been calls for changes to our Spiritualist services.  In some cases not just changes but demolishing what we have in our services at the moment.  There is always room for change but one step and a time with small tweaks here and there.  These alterations can add to congregation participation giving a more intimate and friendly atmosphere.  But we also have to remember we have more congregation participation during a divine service than most other religions. 

Attending the Love and Friendship Spiritualist Church and the Largs Spiritualist Church a week apart I saw little changes to the norm that other churches could adapt.

The Love and Friendship Spiritualist Church has stuck to a format that was used in the past and could be introduced again by many churches.  After the Service there is a get together with a cup of tea and then on to the healing.  After that those who have waited behind get the opportunity to say what they thought of the whole evening.  This gives those attending the chance to say how much they enjoyed or did not enjoy the evening, plus the chance ask a question about our religion.  I realise that it is not always possible with churches who rent premises to have time for this but where there is time it should at least be considered.

And what about the visiting medium staying behind for this part of the evening?  Distance to travel home, family and work commitments may mean that waiting that little bit longer is not possible but when they do stay on this is greatly appreciated by the congregation and the committee.  In the past I used always to try to stay on even though my alarm went off at 4am the following morning But
I have been neglecting this recently and hope to get back to staying on in situations like this in the future.
Often I hear Spiritualists complain that we don’t get to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph, by that I am sure they mean in London. But how many of our churches apply to be part of the local wreath laying service on Remembrance Day?  Or even hold a Spiritualist Remembrance Service in their church?  As far as the latter is concerned Largs Spiritualist Church does just that and I felt privileged to be asked to take the service.
For this special and important service a few changes to the norm was made.  Il Silenzio (The Silence) was played, there was not the normal address but that did not stop a few appropriate words just before the clairvoyance.  Something different for a very special day.  Well Done Largs Spiritualist Church!  So next time you hear a Spiritualist say to you “We never get to lay a wreath at the cenotaph” ask them if their church holds a Remembrance Service and if their church has asked for permission to be part of the local Wreath Laying Service?
And it is a myth that we are not allowed to take part in these services.  Stirling Spiritualist Church has been taking part in the local service for many years and Milngavie and Bearsden Spiritualist Sanctuary which has only been in existence for two years was laying a wreath the local cenotaph two months after they opened. 

Ben emails – “Tom – I enjoyed you posting the comments of others on what you had written in previous blog, as you printed the negative as well as the positive comments”.
Ben – I have had several similar comments so I will start them up again.
Plenty of comments on “Keep Spiritualism a Religion
R - “If all of those connected to spiritualism thought first and foremost that they were Ambassadors of Spirit and not trying to enhance their own ego then we would-be accepted more as a religion”.
Vera – “So many individuals within Spiritualism let us down – but we are no different from any of the mainstream religions, in fact we are better off in many respects”.
Tim – “Why bother about other religions we do our own thing and if you like us you join us, if you don’t, then you go elsewhere.  ...
David – “I hold my hands up to being a bit over the top on facebook in alerting members of mediums taking our service, yet I am more professional in the advert in our local newspaper.  I suppose I was not thinking what non-spiritualists will think of our religion”.  But will I change?  No.  after talking it over with other committee members we decide that one way is right for the local rag and the other way is more in line with those on facebook”.
? – “Tom – move into the modern world”.
Anne - “I was shocked that my church ran a coach to see a so-called big named medium in a theatre it just did not seem right”.
? – “It would only take action against one  award holder for giving a demonstration of clairvoyance where alcohol was consumed then the rest would think twice before doing such a thing.  I don’t think this is rife among award holders but if it does go on let us nip it in the bud immediately”.
Mav “Friends and work colleagues attend psychic and spiritual gatherings I don’t know the difference but I look upon it all as a sideshow”.
Lynn – “I agree with your comments 100%.  I get so embarrassed these days in what goes on in the name of SPIRITUALISM” on and off facebook. 
J Porter – “Face book has ruined so much of the good reputation Spiritualism has earned over the years”.
R Davies – “Two camps in the movement, those who are willing to serve spirit and those who look upon it as a money making venture”.
So a wide range of comment to what I wrote a few weeks ago.  It is good that we can feel free to comment but should our views not be directed towards our churches and district councils rather than on the Internet?  Give you churches and district councils your positive as well as negative comments. 

I spend much of my time TV switching between TV news channels and even with the foreign news channels a snippet of good news is hard to find.  This past week has been no exception with the reporting of; -
Our minds cannot take in the devastation in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan, destroyed everything in its path.  We moan when a few slates are blown off our roof in a gale and then reach for the phone to contact the insurance company.  We cannot begin to put ourselves in the position of those in the Philippines who have lost everything and their lives will be changed forever.
Then there was the horrific account of an Iranian gentleman falsely accused of being a paedophile.  He was beaten and burned to death on a British Street.  It is bad enough an innocent person being accused of a crime but to be killed by a mob in such a way is the most horrific thing that could happen to anyone.
By far the most uplifting news report was of Pope Francis hugging a badly disfigured man.  A truly great act of kindness and compassion.
A date for your diary...  Saturday, 11 January 2014 at 19:00   GAS Drama Group present “CINDERELLA” Glasgow Association of Spiritualists, 6/7 Somerset Place, Glasgow, G3 7JT.  Tickets are now on sale at £5.
Good to see the church branching out and I can see two benefits for the church and its members.  1... It will give fledglings good experience in standing up in front of a group of people.  2... Those members with no aspirations to become mediums will feel they are playing a bigger part in church activities.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Was I being Petty?... A Pet's Blessing... God In His Goodness...


22nd 23rd and 24th September I was serving the Glasgow Central Spiritualist Church (SNU) Berkley Street, Glasgow... 26th – I went North-East to the Arbroath Spiritualist Centre (SNU)....

29th – I attended the Coatbridge Spiritualist Church where the music for the hymns is provided by  Robert on guitar.  This fairly lifts the atmosphere.

30th –A few miles south to the Cumnock Spiritualist Church.  As the town hall is being renovated the service took place in a hall close by.

1st October I travelled the short distance to the Shining Light Spiritualist Church Kilmarnock.

3rd – I was at ASK Dunfermline giving a talk on “How Spirit Work with Us”...

5th September – was my second last workshop of the year at The Glasgow Association of Spiritualists, Somerset Place, Glasgow. (SNU). The last workshop taking place on 9th November, 10am – 4pm...

6th – Although called the Friendship of Love and Light Spiritualist Church it will always be known as Eddie’s Church after the founder and well loved Spiritualist Medium Eddie Docherty.  This is in Foxbar, Paisley.

9th – A busy day in Edinburgh with a demonstration of Clairvoyance and sittings at the Parapsychology College in the afternoon and then again a demonstration of clairvoyance at the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre (SNU) in the evening...

10th –Development Circle...

11th – 15th  A busy but enjoyable time at The Glasgow Association for Spiritualists, Somerset Place Glasgow taking an Open Circle, sittings and four services.
                                                     WAS I BEING PETTY?
 A few weeks ago I was stopped by a lady in the street and asked if I had time to fill in a questionnaire.
I agreed and we were met with a hurdle at the very first question – “What is your religion?”  I said “Spiritualist” and after a few seconds I heard the lady mutter “Other”.  “No” I said “Spiritualist”.  She told me that there was no box for “Spiritualist” and I would have to be entered under “others”.
I tried to go for a compromise in suggesting that “Spiritualist” was written at question-1 or that it would be mentioned in one of my answers.  No” she said “My job is only to tick boxes and I cannot write anything down”.  So as neither of us was prepared to budge I walked away without trying to be too impolite.
Was I being petty?
The early pioneers of Spiritualism struggled hard to get Spiritualism accepted as a religion and although our numbers are not near the same of the main religions I don’t feel we should be passed off as “others”.  I accept that it may be going over the top in expecting a box for all the smaller religions but surely a blank space where “Spiritualism” or another religion could be recorded?
          A Pet’s Blessing...  
A church in this area held its annual service ‘the blessing of pets’.  I cannot think of any Spiritualist Church with holds a service for pets, there may be some but I have not heard of one.  Surely this is something that we must rectify, as just think how often a pet is mentioned from the platform and that it is waiting to greet its owner/friend when it is their turn to move over to the higher side of life.  Often from the platform dog, cat horse, parrot etc is mentioned.  Not only that but the correct breed, colour markings, showing beyond doubt that like us our hairy/furry friends live on and will be sharing the Spirit World with us.
 We love our pets and that bond will not be broken by our little - and maybe not so little – friends when they reach the end of their life in this dimension.  The love between us will be as strong as ever and we all know that it is love that links us with the Spirit World.  Moving over to the Spirit World and finding our furry friends were not there waiting for us would be meaning part of the family was missing...
I have always found a great interest in visiting antique shops and fairs.  It is amazing the vibrations one can sense in such places – positive and negative.
 I try never to stop at objects that are pleasant to my eye. But at those which have great love coming from them.  Usually this is from items at the lower end of the price scale In fact, in a great many cases they are small pieces of paste jewellery costing only a few pounds.  I often wondered if this was  the only piece of jewellery the previous owner possessed.
It is an added bonus when you sense something from an item and then can quiz the dealer about it.  If they happen to know something about the item's history, it is amazing how often their information can correspond with what you have been sensing.
                                      God in His Goodness
God in his goodness has provided us with everything we need (not want) to survive.  Everything in our natural environment has a purpose.  All forms of life are inter=dependent on one another...
For instance, flowers and plants have very varied functions.  Flowers provide food and resting places for bees and other insects.  Have you ever watched an insect resting on a leaf washing its face?
Their beautiful colours and exquisite perfumes bring us such joy and upliftment of our spirits.  We use flowers to help us express our emotions such as love, gratitude, celebration and sorrow in bereavement.  Some flowers can be used for medicinal purposes e.g.; we get digitalis from foxgloves to make the drug  ‘digoxin’ used to reduce a patient's pulse rate.  Roses and many others are used in Bach Flower Remedies.  We can even eat some flowers e.g. nasturtiums in salads.  Many plants and trees are used as medicine as well as providing shelter for many birds, animals and insects.  Trees provide us with food fuel and timber for the construction of homes, furniture and a myriad of other things.  Trees also absorb the carbon dioxide from our environment.
Flowers plants and trees like us possess a spirit body.  Two men, Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homoeopathic Medicine, and Rudolph Steiner. The founder of anthroposophy and founder of the Steiner Schools were spiritually developed enough to be able to see these spirit bodies and were able to determine which ailments the various flowers, plants and trees could be able to treat.
 We have a great deal to be thankful to God for.  The very best we can do to express our gratitude is to preserve and respect the whole of the natural world and to protect it for future generations to come, because all of nature, even the tiniest insect has a very important part to play in our eco system... 
Margaret Garrow - Inspired by Spirit..

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Keeping Our Religion A Religion...

3rd September saw me take a short journey along the A736 to take the service at ASK Neilston.  Sheila Caruthers founder and president of ASK is an excellent medium in her own right.  Sheila started attending a spiritualist church as a young girl and has accumulated a wealth of knowledge which she is willing to share with others.  So anyone wishing to dip their toe in the water so to speak and learn a little more about spiritualism and their psychic abilities could think of visiting the Glen Halls, Main Street,  Neilston at 7.30pm on a Wednesday where they will be made welcome.  The Divine Service is help in the same Halls on a Tuesday evening at 7.30.

4th – An interesting night being interviewed on Spiritualism.  My comments will not appear in the media but hopefully it will enlighten those of another religion on what our beliefs are.  This particular church is having nights during the winter looking into various other religions.  This church felt Spiritualism so far removed from their own beliefs, the clairvoyance, that they did not feel it appropriate to invite someone of our religion along to talk to them.  But that they were including Spiritualism in their winter discussions of “Other Religions” I felt was a big step forward form them and I agreed on this interview”.

5th - It was my pleasure once again to take a church’s development group.

8th – I let the train take the strain as I attended the Perth Spiritualist Church (SNU).  Often know as the “wee church with the big heart”.

11th –I was asked to be guest at a private circle which has been sitting for over two decades.

12th – I attended The White Dove Spiritualist Church, Toryglen, and Glasgow, where there was the usual big turnout....

16th – 20th... We took a few days away to Blackpool and took the opportunity to meet up with a few psychic researchers that I am often in contact with via the Internet.

                                            Keeping Our Religion – A Religion...

These days, many religions are hitting the headlines because of in-fighting and /or other misdemeanours.  So far spiritualism has escaped this kind of public scrutiny, probably because our numbers are small and few outside our organizations think of Spiritualism as a religion.  But are we helping ourselves to be looked upon as a religion? I do not think we are. Currently, because of our own actions, we are more like a money making entertainment business than a true religion. If we claim to be Spiritualists, then we should all look on ourselves as "Ambassadors for Spirit" and act accordingly.  We have to look at what others will think of Spiritualism and Spiritualists, by our actions.

Take social networks, they should be a shop window for our religion, but often if we look through the posts of Spiritualists, we see a messy little corner shop rather than the superstore which it should be.   Comments on social networks can be detrimental to our religion when Spiritualists condemn each other there.  Some of this condemnation may be justified, but should not be aired in such a public forum.  I have not noticed such behaviour taking place with other religions.  So what will non-spiritualists think of us? 

There have been comments on social networks that a child may have disrupted a service for a short time, what other religion would complain at than.  And further comments that children should not attend our services till they are a certain age.  This gives the impression that we are not a child friendly religion.  Yet the SNU is more than happy for children to attend churches, unless of course they are very disruptive in which case one would assume the parent would take them outside or perhaps into another room until they settle down”.  Common sense prevails...  And we have to remember we have Christian and non-Christian Spiritualist Churches... With the former – who said “Suffer little children and let them come to me?”  
I have noticed that some of our churches, when advertising on social media, the next medium to work for them, come out with comments which are more suited to advertising an entertainment, than a religious service.  And after the service, it can be even worse, when they describe the medium’s work.  There are religious organizations that have regular guest speakers and there avert in the local newspaper will go something like “The guest speaker for Sunday evening will be Mr Smith from ****” Is that not more professional and more akin to a religion?
The aim of Spiritualism is to affect an at-one-ment and unison of Humanity with God until every action and thought of Humanity is in perfect harmony with the Divine Will."
(Adapted from the Spiritualists' Lyceum Manual)
Maybe our church committees should aim for increased ‘at-one-ment with the congregation by an informal meeting once a year, for everyone to have their say.  As I mentioned in an earlier blog, use a suggestion box in an easily accessible place.  Some will say “We have our AGM and that is the place to comment on likes and dislikes about the church," but as we all know the “Any other business" is usually at the end of the AGM, when many want the meeting to finish. 
To put a more presentable face on our religion, there are other ways we could behave more professionally.  I have seen those new to Spiritualism look surprised after a service, as the medium takes their diary out and books people for non church related private sittings.  Is this using the church as a source for financial gain?  Then there is another way to look at it.  Many churches have monthly private sittings to help pay their expenses, as the freewill offering does not cover all the costs. So taking such a booking is taking much needed income away from the church.
Then there are high profile mediums who breeze into town with their name in lights outside a theatre, or posters all over the town about their show.  Do these mediums/psychics ever check if their display is going to clash with a local spiritualist church’s service?  They don’t have to do this if they do not serve churches but surely those who do, should be more considerate to the local churches. If they don’t maybe it is time for churches to think twice before booking such mediums in the future for their services.
Evenings of Clairvoyance for charity have always been, and always will be part and parcel of Spiritualism.  But there are many who think that the charity circuit is running out of control these days.  Should church mediums not stick to ‘charity nights’ run by spiritualist churches?   And churches limit charity nights to two a year? Another area for being more professional that we need to look at are evenings of clairvoyance taking place in pubs and clubs.  That may be fine for psychics or non church serving mediums but many, both within and out with Spiritualism, find it distasteful to a religion, when it involves a church serving medium or SNU award holder. H
The SNU policy about this is as follows;-
“SNU award holders are not prohibited from working in rooms in pubs and clubs.  The only stipulation is that they do not demonstrate mediumship in a room where alcohol is consumed”
On being asked if the Union would take action the reply was; -
Yes the Union would take action, and has done so, if any award holder is reported to them. I would expect award holders to uphold the dignity of Spiritualism, and maybe there are few feeling that way, but who administer Union affairs certainly think that way”.
But what of non SNU Award Holders – what is the Union's advice to their churches on those who do?
“Churches are autonomous and therefore have to make their own decisions on who they book to work on their platforms”
So the ball is in the court of church committees.
There need be no conflict if the churches make sure they are first and foremost representing a religion and those who take to their platforms think and act in the same way.  Those wishing to use their talents for entertainment or financial gain go their own way not hang on to the coat tails of Spiritualism which is a religion. 
If we are going to save Spiritualism as a religion, it is time for the splitting of the ways.  Spiritualism should let it be known that many of the ‘readings’ that have attached themselves on to us, are nothing to do with what we are about. We should think what Spirit’s view is on all this and also take into account the suffering that the pioneers of Spiritualism had to go though, to make Spiritualism a respectable religion. Also as a last word - what must Gordon Higginson, the longest serving President of the Spiritualists' National Union, over 23 years from 1970 to 1993 be thinking? He devoted much of his life to Spiritualism, becoming a Minister of the SNU as well as a teacher of mediumship and also Principal of the Arthur Findlay College at Stansted Hall.   Will all his work have been in vain?

My next workshop at the Glasgow Association of Spiritualists 7 Somerset Ave, Glasgow,  G3 7JT  Saturday 5th October at 10am