This February, the SNU launches its new diversity & inclusion programme with a series of online support hubs.

Today, we present an overview of the new initiative, as well as information and details on how you can get involved in this important new work for the union, its members and the wider Spiritualist movement.

The Spiritualists' National Union are excited to announce today the launch of three community support groups, the first sessions of which will be commencing in the first week of February. We warmly invite all members to come along and help support these groups by sharing your own experiences, support mechanisms or resources that you believe could be useful to others within our membership.

Improving inclusion and diversity awareness and understanding for all within the union is a central priority for us - to help showcase that all are welcome (members and non-members alike) of any ethnic minority, background, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ability or otherwise.

The three new support hubs will help to foster this more inclusive and progressive environment, so that we can all take responsibility for creating a more diverse and reflective membership. For those who may not identify as being part of a minority or under-represented group, this can include the equally important understanding of how to be an ‘ally’ yourself, for these minority or marginalised groups.

Spread the word!

Engagement and circulation is key - we kindly ask that if you are on church committees, district councils or other bodies, please consider printing and posting these flyers for your members and visitors to see or, even better, distribute the flyer physically or digitally to your members. We need your help to widen our reach. Let’s aim to not leave anyone out of this important work, that will help us to make the union representative of all, and fit for the future.

What will the groups involve?

The online support groups themselves will provide a warm, safe, friendly and creative environment to listen to others’ thoughts, ideas and experiences. Given the nature of the conversations, that some of the information shared may be sensitive, or that attendees may not wish to have their experiences shared or circulated, we have decided that the sessions themselves will not be recorded.

If you are unable to attend a particular session, we are pleased to confirm that there will be three sessions annually (for now) for each focal area, for you to choose from.

A passion for unity - The new programme is being overseen by NEC Ordinary Director, Anne-Marie Bond DSNU (pictured above), who has a keen passion for diversity and inclusion, and raising awareness and understanding.

Who will host the sessions?

The sessions will be hosted by volunteer facilitators, who have been chosen from applicants approved by the NEC. These hosts will be guided by their lead, NEC Ordinary Director 3, Anne-Marie Bond, and they have been selected so that they identify with the group whose sessions they will be hosting.

As volunteers, they are not paid, so we fully envisage that as we adopt this new format and as time progresses, new developments and better processes will naturally follow. It will be an exciting, growing and organic process, and one we very much welcome and invite you to be part of.

How will the sessions run?

Each session will begin with a welcome and introduction, followed by a video or address from a selected speaker. Topics covered will be broad and varied, but will include awareness and understanding of unconscious bias, the facilitation of a Q&A session, as well as the implementation of breakout discussion rooms and collated feedback toward the end.

As mentioned, the way the groups are hosted and run will likely change over time, and the more participants and feedback that we have, the better they can become.

"We invite anyone and everyone to be part of this important step forward for the union and its membership."

Who are these sessions for?

We invite anyone and everyone to be part of this important step forward for the union and its membership. You are invited to come along and potentially learn something new, or share your own experiences for the betterment of others. Our aim is that everyone who attends a sessions will leave with a higher sense of inclusion, and a palpable community feeling of togetherness.

If you identify with any of the target groups - LGBTQ+, Disability & Impairment, Ethnic Minorities - please do consider attending and getting involved. If you do not personally identify with any one group, we are still certain that the sessions will be enlightening and valuable. The doors are open to all, and learning how to adopt better language or behaviour of inclusivity to others will help us all to become kinder and more supportive.

In a rapidly changing world, our understanding has to keep up pace, and where there are challenges, let’s face them head-on and make those painful decisions that might adopt short-term stoppages, but ones that go on to improve the long-term health and prospects of our churches and our movement.

How will these groups be monitored and assessed?

Compassion, understanding, compromise, forgiveness, total transparency and mental well-being are at the fore of all that we do. This is a new adventure and opportunity that seeks to broaden our understanding and appreciation of all of these things.

And whilst we appreciate that there will be many varied opinions and perspectives, we are happy for this to be a fluid and responsive process. As time passes, the running and structure of the events may sometimes not suit every individual’s personal preferences. Therefore, we kindly ask you to be patient and understanding, as we undertake the first year of this new venture.

All comments and responses will be taken on board, and collated as a report sent to the NEC. There is therefore a strong chance that, by the end of the year, changes or recommendations you have suggested may already be being implemented. We will continue to assess and consider time and date changes for future sessions, to try and allow those outside of the UK to have the maximum opportunity to attend and get involved.

Lastly, as part of the upcoming communications review that will be undertaken by the Union, we will be looking at a more permanent platform and space where members can find all of the necessary information regarding these groups. This will likely be on either the SNU website, social media, SNU Today, or a combination of all three.

How can I attend the sessions?

To make access as simple and easy as possible, we are keeping the same Zoom access code and password for every session, so please make note of these below, along with the dates and times for each individual group.

We do recommend arriving/logging in at least 5 minutes prior to the start time for any sessions that you would wish to attend, as the introduction held at the start of each session will be vital to your understanding of what you can expect from that particular session.

We are excited to begin this important and promising new chapter in fostering diversity and inclusion within our union, membership and movement, and sincerely hope you enjoy and find rewarding your involvement in it, also.

SNU Diversity & Inclusion Support Groups - Key Information

Zoom Details (the same for all groups and sessions):

Meeting ID/Code: 895 3097 5922

Password: Diversity7


Hosts: Stephen Goldsack, Eduardo Peixoto, Lynne Wilson

  • Thursday 2nd February 2023 (7:00 - 8:30pm)
  • Thursday 18th May 2023 (7:00 - 8:30pm)
  • Thursday 19th October 2023 (7:00 - 8:30pm)


Hosts: Lorna Harper, Helen van Hooft CSNU

  • Friday 3rd February 2023 (7:00 - 8:30pm)
  • Friday 19th May 2023 (7:00 - 8:30pm)
  • Friday 20th October 2023 (7:00 - 8:30pm)


Hosts: Rickie Avitan, Lorna J Hines

  • Saturday 4th February 2023 (7:00 - 8:30pm)
  • Saturday 20th May 2023 (7:00 - 8:30pm)
  • Saturday 21st October 2023 (7:00 - 8:30pm)

Should you have any diversity & inclusion-related comments or session-specific enquiries, please send them to Anne-Marie Bond, [email protected].

Please keep your eyes on our official website and social media channels for updates on the various plans that the Union has regarding its communications and publicity strategy.

For now, please direct all communications or media-related enquiries to our Contact page. Designated channels for comms-specific correspondence and enquiries will be set up in due course.