NEC Meeting Friday 2nd August until Sunday 4th  August 2019


The President’s Blog was established with the aim of keeping members fully updated about the work of the National Executive Committee (NEC) and developments which affect the Union and the wider movement. It is posted on the main SNU website shortly after the NEC meeting and also shared via social media, meaning that it now reaches several thousand people with each new edition.


Much of the work of the NEC is by its very nature confidential but every effort will be made to keep members fully apprised wherever appropriate.

NEC 2019/20 - Nominations, Appointments and Portfolios


Minister David R Bruton

Collegiate Committee/Principal

Museum/GHMS/Healing Forum



Minister Jackie Wright

GPC/Head Office/Complaints

Health & Safety/Union HR & Policy


Minister June English



Financial Director

Mark Bradley

Finance Committee/Strategic Plan

Individual Membership

Education & Exponents Director

Minister Steven Upton


Exponents Committee


Chairman: Judith Seaman

Vice-Chairman: Andrej Djordjevitch

Secretary: Christine Thompson       

Members: Julia Almond OSNU - Speaking

Minister Martin Colclough - Demonstrating

Tim Smith - Healing and Marketing


Co-ordinators: Kathryn Crossley  - HAS & CAS

Penny Haywood - PAS & CSNU


SNUi Committee


Chairman: Arthur Plumpton

Vice-Chairman/Exponents Liaison: Cathy Leigh Tsoukalas

Secretary: Angela Foster

Newsletter Editor: Doris Freidrich

SNUi Rep to Council/Lecturer Liaison: Daniela Gervasoni

Education Liaison: Sharon DB Carmack

National Representatives Coordinator: Monnic Baker

Ex-officio: Steven Upton


Ministers Administration Committee


Chairman: Minister June English

Vice-Chairman: Minister Brenda Newall

Secretary: Minister Suzanne Gibson-Foy

Committee: Minister Jenny Peacock


Complaints Committee


Chairman: Keith Parsons

Vice-Chairman/Misconduct of Affairs: Russell Fitzpatrick

Complaints Co-ordinator: Danielle Garwood

Mediation Co-ordinator: Minister Nora Stringer

Arbitration Co-ordinator: Debbie Ridgeway OSNU 


Communications Director

Alv Hirst

Publicity & Promotions Committee

Chair: Joy Clark

Members: Rachael Casson, Philip Robinson

Public Relations Officer


Minister Steven Upton


Collegiate Committee


Chairman: Minister Jackie Wright

Vice-Chairman: Minister David Bruton (Principal)

Secretary: Ann Kelly

Members:  Kath Shirley

Minister Matthew Smith - Tutor Representative

Tanya Smith - General Manager, Arthur Findlay College

Seamus Davies - General Manager, Barbanell Centre

Finance Committee


Chairman: Mark Bradley

Vice-Chairman: Minister David Bruton

Secretary: Sadia Bowering - CAO

Members: Minister Jackie Wright

Minister June English

Danny Goodchild

Ernie Gilbert Gray

Graham Hewitt - Trust Property Coordinator

Lesley Gilbey - Finance Administrator

General Purposes Committee


Chairman: Jane Barton

Vice-Chairman: Minister Judith Seaman

Secretary: Charles Coulston

Members: Minister Jackie Wright

Derek Pipe

Sadia Bowering - CAO

(Following the appointment of Mark Bradley to Financial Director)

Individual Members Representative (12-month term)


Su Evans

Ordinary Members


OM 1 - Suzanne Gibson-Foy - Focus on Religion

OM 2 - Pat Seymour - Church Support

OM 3 – Minister Alan Rawnsley  - Training in the SNU

Council Member to the NEC


Jean Smart


Almoner: Minister Marian Bishop
Museum Curator: Paul Gaunt
Safeguarding Co-ordinator: Minister Kim Moore-Cullen
DeputySafeguarding Co-ordinator:
Minister June English
Faith Advisor to HMPS & YOI: 
Minister Janette Cookson
Faith Advisor to HM Armed Forces:
Minister Steven Upton
RE Council:
Minister Suzanne Gibson-Foy, Julia Almond OSNU
Interfaith Ambassador: Minister David Hopkins

OM 3 Appointed

Minister Alan Rawnsley has been appointed to the OM 3 position on the NEC, which has been left vacant for some time. The NEC recognises a need within the movement to provide training at Church, District and National level and Alan has been charged with developing appropriate methods of training through various media which can help to add real value to the Union.



Our sincere thanks go to all retiring Chairmen and Committee members who have served the Union over the last twelve months with dedication.


Education Committee

The NEC have agreed to merge the Education Committee with the Exponents Committee with a view to refocusing its work, addressing some of the major outstanding issues whilst benefiting from the natural synergy which exists between the work of the two committees. Three additional people will be appointed to the Exponents Committee to support the extra work and this move will be reviewed by the NEC in twelve months' time. GPC will prepare the necessary changes to Bye-laws at its August meeting and details will be published in the September circulation, bringing the change into immediate effect.


Hauntings Leaflet withdrawn

The NEC makes an appeal to all Churches and other bodies who hold stocks of our leaflets: could members please check to see if you are holding any copies of the Hauntings leaflet which was issued some years ago and if this is the case could you please remove them from public display and destroy any stocks of the leaflets, as the Union has now withdrawn them from circulation.

SNUi Membership Renewals

It has been agreed that in future UK members of SNUi will be encouraged to renew their subscription by direct debit rather than credit or debit card authorisation: this avoids the need to update the Union each time you receive a new payment card from your bank and will help make subscription payments easier to collect. The Union is also investigating a similar payment method for non-UK SNUi membership.

AGM review

The NEC conducted a review of the AGM held in Glasgow at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. It was agreed to create a new sub-committee, chaired by the Communications Director, with a view to refreshing the AGM experience for delegates and we have set a target of having 80% of Churches represented at the AGM by 2025. The NEC would like to thank everyone who made the journey to Glasgow this year and our thanks go to the Conference hotel and their staff. The consensus seems to be that this was the best hotel we have had for many years and the experience was a good one for all involved.

Our appreciation also goes to the Scottish & Irish District Council for its help and support with the event and to our sponsors for their support. Next year our focus turns to Norwich and work is already underway to produce a successful weekend for our 118th meeting.


Peace Walk 2020  

2020 marks the 10th Anniversary of the Peace Walk at the National Memorial Arboretum; the Union really wants to plan a very special celebration for next year and hopes to have representatives from all 14 District Councils present, together with many Churches. A working party has been established under the chairmanship of Keith Parsons from East London DC and it will report back to the NEC as its plans for this important date in our annual calendar develop.


Welcoming new members to the Ministry

The NEC would like to congratulate the following members as they begin their new journey as part of the SNU Ministry as Officiants:


  • Christine Bond – Merseyside & North Wales DC
  • Anne Dibben – Scottish & Irish DC
  • Barbara Evison – Manchester DC


Services of acceptance will be organised shortly through the Ministers Administration Committee.

Making a difference

It has been agreed to assign 2020 as SNU Year of the Environment and 2021 as SNU Year of Interfaith, following the President’s address to Conference, which is available in full in the President's Blog 47 (AGM). The NEC feels that we need to focus on a particular initiative each year and hopes to get members throughout the movement to take a part in these important initiatives, which in turn help to demonstrate Spiritualist philosophy in a practical way.


The Big Sleepout

This is due to take place at the Barbanell Centre on Saturday 7th December; two members of the NEC will take part and it is hoped to get other Churches and members also involved. The Communications Director has approached the organisation leading this event and it has been very supportive of our involvement. Further information will be published in SNU Today in September. The NEC agreed to produce some badges with ‘Spiritualism fights homelessness’ and these will be sold with a view to helping raise funds to support the project.

Read how to take part here


A new channel for information to members

It is hoped in October to launch a new electronic Newsletter to keep everyone up to date with all things SNU and Spiritualism; watch this space for developments.


Meet the NEC

It has now been three years since members of the NEC last took to the road to meet with districts and share good practice and ideas; the NEC has agreed to  relaunch this in 2020 and districts will be approached shortly to arrange a meeting in their area.


National Training Day    

This will take place at the Barbanell Centre on Saturday 7th September; invitations have gone out to all Churches and two people from every Church will be able to attend. There will be no charge for this day and lunch will also be provided but Church delegates will have to cover their own transport costs; limited accommodation is available via the Barbanell Centre and you should contact the Centre to arrange this – 01785 615513.


The President takes to the airwaves yet again

A new series on BBC Radio 4 begins on 6th August at 9.30 a.m.; ‘Classified Britain’ takes a front page from a regional newspaper from history and picks up on the social history surrounding the classified adverts. On 3rd September the Ripley and Heanor News from 1948 will feature and the President took part in an interview recorded at Belper Church, which will feature in the programme, reflecting an advert for a Spiritualist meeting back in 1948.


Special Services

The 90th Anniversary service was held at Cambridge Church on Sunday 28th July; rededication services are planned to take place at Treforest Church on 1st September and Denton Church on 8th September.

National Council

East London DC
Keith Parsons
West London DC
Lorraine Gilbert OSNU
East Midlands DC
Minister Myrrha Hibbert
West Midlands DC
Loraine Todd
Northern DC
Minister Lynda Bradley
Manchester DC
Danny Goodchild CSNU
North Lancs & Cumbria DC
Helen Taylor OSNU
Merseyside & North Wales DC
Jacky Ellis
Scottish & Irish DC
George Falconer DSNU
Southern DC James Grist
South Western DC Minister Marian Bishop
South Wales DC

Sandra Jarrold DSNU

North Yorkshire DC Kathryn Crossley OSNU
South Yorkshire DC Jean Smart CSNU
Spiritualists' Lyceum Union Minister Jenny Peacock
SNU International Daniela Gervasoni
Individual Members Representative

Su Evans

The next Council Meeting will take place at the Barbanell Centre, beginning on Friday 27th September at 6.00 p.m.; the meeting will close at 4.00 p.m. on Saturday 28th September. The additional time allocated takes account of the meeting which the Council lost in February this year due to bad weather.

Matters Interfaith

Government– Following the appointment of the new Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Robert Jenrick MP has become the new Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government; this department is charged with taking a central role with faith communities and belief.

Viscount Younger of Leckie was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at MHCLG and has taken on the role of Minister for Faith and Communities.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon has been re-appointed as the Prime Minister's Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief.

2021 Census– The Census (Return Particulars and Removal of Penalties) Bill to amend the Census Act 1920 had its first reading in the House of Lords on 1st May and its second reading on 17th July. Several groups from faith communities have been lobbying for a separate tick-box in the ethnic group category. The Communications Director has been tasked with trying to get Spiritualism listed as one of the option choices on the next census document.

Interfaith Week 2019 - 10th to 17th November 2019– This year’s event was launched at the national meeting in July. A new publication, 'Interfaith Week: Stories from 2018, inspiration for 2019', is available to download from the SNU website.

Trees for Life - Interfaith Scotland– To mark its 20th Anniversary and in response to the climate emergency, Interfaith Scotland has sponsored a grove of trees in the Scottish Highlands, to which all faith communities, interfaith groups, organisations and individuals dedicated to tackling climate change can contribute.

‘The World Interfaith Harmony Grove’ can be found at:


Plans are also underway to establish a tree-planting scheme at the Arthur Findlay College and further details will be available shortly.


Faith Leaders Training Initiative  

Sessions for the government's free Faith Leader Training Initiative are taking place in Leeds, Birmingham, London and Manchester. These can still be joined and the sessions begin in Leeds in September. The training is for anyone who is in a recognised leadership role in their faith community and is designed to support them in the task of ‘ministering effectively in contemporary UK’.

For further information or to book a place visit:


Google and Charities

Google is offering a service to registered charities which brings Google Ad Grants: Free Adwords advertising to promote their websites on Google through keyword targeting.

For further information visit:


12 Years to Save the Planet

The SEEFF Annual Conference will take place on Monday 16thSeptember 2019 at the University of Surrey, Stag Hill, Guilford GU2 7XH. This conference will be of great interest to faith leaders and anyone who takes an interest in responsibility for our planet's future.


NEC Skills Audit

The CAO has asked all members of the NEC to complete a skills audit so that we can assess any need on the board for additional training and support.


Social Media

The Union continues to develop and promote its work through social media; the Peace Day post reached 10,900 people, a quotation from Martin Luther King reached 9,700 people and the Post for Pride reached 11,300 people. Our Twitter feed is also continuing to grow steadily, helping to raise our profile.

The Publicity & Promotions Committee is also approaching BBC and commercial radio stations with a view to being included in Pause for Thought or any other religious-based shows; with the BBC’s new religious policy barely a year old we hope this campaign will bear fruit for the movement.


SNU Today

Work is well underway on the Autumn edition of SNU Today; it promises to be yet another bumper edition, with a focus upon community and charity work with a view to encouraging our Churches to become more outward-looking going forward.


Focus on Religion

The event held in June at Southampton Cavendish Grove Church proved to be a huge success thanks to the support of the Southern District council and it has been agreed to hold two events of this type in 2020; further information will be available shortly.


Member Recruitment Strategies and Techniques

Minister Suzanne Gibson-Foy and the newly-appointed National IM Representative, Sue Evans, hope to attend this seminar at the end of September with a view to increasing membership across the Union.


NEC dates for this electoral year

NEC Dates for the year July 2019 to July 2020


Council meeting 
Friday 27th, Saturday 28th September 
Barbanell Centre
NEC meeting 
4th, 5th, 6th October
Barbanell Centre
NEC meeting 
29th and 30th November,
1st December
Barbanell Centre
Council meeting
Saturday 1st February 2020
NEC meeting 
7th, 8th, 9th February 2020
Barbanell Centre
NEC meeting 
3rd, 4th, 5th April 2020
Barbanell Centre
NEC meeting 
12th, 13th, 14th June 2020
Stansted Hall
NEC meeting 
17th July 2020
Eve of AGM
Holiday Inn Hotel, Norwich

500 Club

Minister Judith Seaman scooped the fabulous first prize of £1,000 during the July draw; the draw takes place once a quarter and next time it could be you! Contact Redwoods if you are interested in taking part, supporting the Union and potentially winning some great prizes. Churches are welcome to take part.

The concept of the 500 Club is to have 500 members, each with their very own unique number, at a cost of £5 per month, or £60 annually. Each number will be placed into the draw, which takes place quarterly, for the chance to win a prize. You can of course have more than one number to give you even more of a chance of winning those all-important prizes.

Membership is open to all: family, friends, colleagues and neighbours. Please spread the word and join us in our effort to promote Spiritualism and continue the good work of the Spiritualists’ National Union.

You have to be in it to win it!

500 Club Application form

Next NEC Meeting

The next NEC meeting will take place at the Barbanell Conference Centre on 4th, 5th and 6th October 2019. The next Council meeting will take place at a venue to be agreed on Friday 27th and Saturday 28th  September 2019.


Have your say

As part of an ongoing policy of openness the NEC would welcome your views; please feel free to email your comments to me at [email protected]


Thought for today, back by popular demand!

“Nothing happens unless first we dream.”

Carl Sandburg



Minister David R. Bruton

President of The Spiritualists' National Union


Previous Blogs 

President's Blog | AGM19 Special |

President's Blog | Edition 46 |

President's Blog | Edition 45 |

President's Blog | Edition 44 |

President's Blog | Edition 43 |

President's Blog | Edition 42 |

President's Blog | Edition 41 |

President's Blog | AGM18 Special |

President's Blog | Edition 40 |

President's Blog | Edition 39 |

President's Blog | Edition 38 |

President's Blog | Edition 37 |

President's Blog | Edition 36 |

President's Blog | Edition 35 | 

President's Blog | Edition 34 |

President's Blog | Edition 33 |

President's Blog | Edition 32 |

President's Blog | Edition 31  |

President's Blog | Edition 30 |

President's Blog | Edition 29 |

President's Blog | Edition 28 |