14th – I was at the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre, Edinburgh...21st – For the first time in at least five years I returned to the Prestwick Spiritualist Church. There I found a really enthusiastic committee and members. After the service instead of taking the development circle I gave a talk on the many different ways spirit communicate with us.
22nd- My visit to the Langside Spiritualist Church had to be cancelled because the hall was being used as a polling station for the European Elections.25th The return to Alloa Spiritualist Church after a break of many years. The service is held in the OAP Club House, Erskine Street, Alloa, FK10 3RR. On the church’s website there is a comment “We are a very friendly, loving church and you will be greeted by smiling faces upon entering the church”. I can vouch for that.
27th – I was at the Cambuslang Spiritualist Church...29th – it is always a great pleasure to be involved with the development Group of Kilmarnock Spiritualist Church.
1 Junest - Falkirk Spiritualist Church (SNU).
2nd June I was giving a talk to the Friendship of Love and Light Spiritualist Church, Paisley.3rd – It is always a pleasure to serve the Neilson Spiritualist Church. President Sheila Caruthers, an excellent medium in her own right, has been in Spiritualism for many years. She shares her immense knowledge of Spiritualism at her weekly development circle on a Wednesday evening at 7.30pm in the Glen Hall Main Street Neilston G78 3NL. Anyone wanting to know more about Spiritualism and their psychic abilities this is the place for you. The service is at the same venue on a Tuesday evening at 7.30pm.
4th – It was a short journey to the Kilwinning of Light Spiritualist Church, Nethermains Community Centre. One of the first churches to ask me to take a service all those years ago. This church started out 45 years ago and always has been one of our busiest churches in Ayrshire. President Margaret Jamieson also a medium in her own right has plans to put in place a more varied programme for the members. In the congregation that night were three other mediums. Popular Ayrshire medium John Seery, Paul Erroch now back on the platform after an illness and also well respected John Edgar. John an elder statesman of the Spiritualist movement has had to cut back his church activities but still takes the odd service.
5th – The Langside Spiritualist Church.
We need someone to speak up for our religion....
· One would not expect to go for a drive in a car that had no engine, nor to expect bread to rise if that was no yeast added to the ingredients. But the BBC’s The Big Question which deals with moral, ethics and religious debate did not have a representative from Spiritualism, even though the question was Is There Life After Death. Yet the BBC’s online website on religion lists Spiritualism as the religion and tells its readers Spiritualists believe in communication with the spirits of people who have died. I have for a long time felt that the BBC has not given Spiritualism the country’s 8th largest religion that respect it is due.
We may be a little to blame for our exclusion from religious programmes because in many ways we are so fragmented. Is it not time that the SNU and other Spiritualist associations formed a coalition and elected spokesperson to speak for Spiritualism in Britain? At the moment two strong candidates come to mind. President of the SNU Minister David Brunton and David Hopkins, Minister, author and broadcaster. Either of these two men would give Spiritualism a boost and could handle the negative comments we would get from the media. in a very professional way
The last thing we should do is put up mediums for this role. The mediums that would be at the forefront for such a position would be the so-called big names, Celebrities. It would appear to have of one foot in religion and another in the entertainment industry. Just imagine how easy it would be to shoot down in flames a medium whose name is up in light’s outside a theatre, performs on cruise ships or is the star of a psychic TV programme. And that would do no good for Spiritualism the religion.
After the programme was finished I was so angry that I voiced my opinions on Facebook – not always the best thing to do. But there were several interesting comments connected to my outburst
D - “Tom, There is a slight issue here, how do we know that they never asked a Spiritualist to take part and they refused? In case they were being faced with hostile people.” .......................... Yes I had thought that and I have contacted the BBC and the SNU hopefully I will have an answer in my next blog.
T - “They could also have asked a psychical researcher like myself whose book deals completely in evidence.” ...........This is a programme dealing with moral ethical and religious debate. There are other religions that have views that are not readily accepted and they do not take along researchers to prove the point.
? - “We are better out of it let them have difficulty little chats we would only be ridicule. Let us keep our heads down as we are at the moment do our own thing not bothering with the rest think about us.”.... A very good point aI am tempted to say yes to his but for one thing. Too many look on Spiritualism is nothing more entertainment and money making ventures. As a have already said, a big part of needing a strong spokesman is because of the celeb and entertainment image we have at the moment.
In the June issue of the Two World magazine is an interesting interview with Pat James President of the Belfast Spiritualist Church (SNU). It is good to see that local mediums are now taking the platform at the church. On my four visits to Belfast I was impressed with the enthusiasm of both committee and members and the high quality of education that is on offer. The church has its own premises and uses it to the full, with something taking part within the building most nights of the week. We seldom see a representative from Northern Ireland at the Scottish and District Council meetings and that is understandable because of the distance. Maybe the DC could consider funding or part funding the trip for a NI representative.
Gwen emails; - “Tom do you wear a tie on the platform?
Yes – always have done...
To be honest I have not seen a medium on a church platform without a tie but recently I have heard the complaints that “The medium was on the platform without a tie”. I have to be blunt here and say if I was president of a spiritualist church it would be – no tie – no platform. We have to give spirit respect and also remember we are representing a religion.
Bob asks; - “If you entered a Spiritualist Church today for the first time do you think you would stay, stay as long as you have done since you first came through our door over twenty years ago.
Again I will be blunt and say “No”. I found Spiritualism in those days different, maybe magical in a way. Today in many ways for the newcomer it is hard to distinguish Spiritualism from entertainment and money making ventures...
CR; - “I agree with you 100% about Spiritualist of the year”.
Marie; - “I liked your comments about subtle changes to our services and I also feel that ‘sanctuary’ is a better term to use than ‘church’.
Thank you Marie. I only mentioned change when all in the church were happy with slight changes nothing to be forced on a church.