Meeting Date

Your National Executive Committee met at the Barbanell centre on the 13th and 14th April to discuss a busy agenda.

President’s Report: Minister Jackie Wright

In 2016, the previous NEC made the decision to remove the Spiritual and Administrative titles from the Vice President titles. This assured that both portfolios took an equal share of all responsibilities. However, the portfolios themselves never changed. Which meant the Vice President (Administration) had the biggest share of the workload. 

I am determined to shift the culture of the Union and ensure that our volunteers and staff at every level of the Union experience a healthy working environment. As such, the roles will now be better balanced. As such, Julia Almond will support the work of the Lyceum Union Central Committee and, importantly, begin to review the complaints committee.

At every level of our Union, passionate volunteers give and give to keep their church, district and our Union moving. I won’t ask more of our fantastic volunteers, instead I will ensure they are properly supported by a Union that cares deeply about the work of our staff and our volunteers.


Church Rules 

Matthew Mold continues to compile your feedback around the rules for churches. We are busy establishing the new edition. 


Church Visits

I am immensely fortunate to be able to visit so many of our Churches and Districts as your president. I have so far visited over 100 Churches holding either a fundraiser, a listening exercise or holding a service for that Church. It has been my great privilege to do so. When I became President, I pledged to continue serving Churches within our Union and not charge them for this. This is a pledge I have kept and will continue to keep. Our Churches give so much and do so much, the least they can expect is that their President will not add to their financial burden. 

 

The Arthur Findlay College Open Week

The Arthur Findlay College Open Week is fast approaching and tickets are selling out fast. With just a couple of weeks to go we hope all members will come and visit the AFC and explore the brilliant program that has been put together. You can find out more here:

Find out more!

 

 

Vice President’s Report: Minister Julia Almond

The Ministers’ Committee continues to work extremely hard to ensure the standards of our ministry continue to improve. Recently, the committee has improved the communication, training and support within the Ministry. A newsletter is now circulated to all of our Ministry. Fellowship meetings are held monthly via Zoom, to encourage the support and sharing of ideas. The committee has reviewed and updated the M1 & M2 education courses, this is accompanied by a new student booklet.

Members can look forward to an update from the committee soon on the work of community ministry which will better reflect the fantastic work our churches are doing to engage with their community.


ThirtyOneEight

A recent visit from a consultant from ThirtyOneEight has highlighted the fantastic progress the Union has made in improving our safeguarding practices and policies in recent months. It is a basic expectation that all of our colleagues in the Ministry are fully trained in safeguarding. Those who have not yet completed their training will soon have some new training dates to select. 

Safeguarding is all of our responsibility

The SNU Almoner continues to offer support and healing to all in need, we know this is a very valuable and appreciated service that Libby Clark OSNU offers.

Libby has asked if any of you would like to be added to the Almoners healing mail-out could you let Libby know.


Vice President’s Report: Marie Lisseman OSNU

Our President and John Blackwood have held two Zoom meetings with the Lyceum Central Committee to offer assistance and support in moving forward this important branch of Spiritualism. We are grateful to the volunteers who have stepped forward to offer more support to the central committee.


Wildflower meadow leading to SNU Obelisk at NMA

Peace Walk 2024

Our annual Peace Walk has had some date changes due to the availability of the National Arboretum. We have secured the following dates:

July 20th 2024

July 19th 2025

July 11th 2026

We are really looking forward to continuing the success of our Peace Walk and seeing more members come along.

 

The survey sent out to our overseas members has now been completed and Marie is busy exploring, planning and implementing important changes so that we can improve the experience of our overseas members and ensure they are valued and included in our Union.

 


GPC

Marie and her committee continue to work diligently on our bylaws to amend and update where needed. The next circulation will be sent out in May. Some important updates include improvements to the membership and candidature for office forms and declarations (4.3) and also applications for membership (4.3.1). This will involve changes to bylaws A, E & I

The full details of all amendments will be shown in the May circulation.


 

Finance Director’s Report: James Underwood CSNU

James has been working alongside the finance committee to ensure the Union’s finances are taken care of and used for the advancement of SNU Spiritualism. I am delighted that the number of Churches in arrears has reduced, and the Union continues to support our churches/centres that are in need of financial help.

However, we also continue to work on the way the Union can diversify their income and not be so reliant on one income stream. To achieve this James has formed a working party with Andy Foley and Matthew Mold to explore ideas to further improve our income streams. 


Education and Exponents Director’s Report: Minister Richard Cuthbert

EEcommittee have now removed RPL. The committee have recognised that this system since its inception has caused numerous issues one of which is the burden of extensive administrative duties.In the past year the committee have instead worked on clarifying and simplifying entry requirements and working towards various accreditation and awards, this has reduced the need for RPL to be offered.

 

As part of the work we are doing to change the culture of the Union, I want to remind students of our education courses that their tutors are volunteers and give their time freely to help our students succeed. Please respect our volunteers!


Council Member’s Report: Jean Smart CSNU

The last council meeting was held on Zoom on the 3rd February 2024.

It was an open meeting with each DC rep discussing various needs of their individual district and also sharing best practice. It was great to hear from Churches that they are feeling more positive about the Union’s financial support for Churches and the recognition they are not receiving for the work they are doing.

 

There were some teething issues with the online voting that we will learn from and improve going forward. On a positive note, East London noted that the new online system saved 2 days of time and £600.

 

The next meeting will be on the 18th May at the Barbanell centre. There will be an in-depth discussion around the roles of the district councils and what their future might look like.


 

Ordinary Director 1’s Report: Adam Berry DSNU

Thank you to the 418 responses to the questionnaire that was recently sent out. We are now busy collating and discussing these responses and we look forward to sharing the outcomes with members for further discussion.

 


Ordinary Director 2’s Report: Pat Redman

This new portfolio led by Pat Redman is centred on volunteer recognition and development as well as community engagement. Pat’s Portfolio will be to scope out the best practice for recruiting, recognising, retaining and rewarding our volunteers.

This will look at how our Union can help churches encourage volunteers, and also how volunteers can be best placed into positions that best match their skill set thereby giving them a much more rewarding experience. As part of this process, Pat is exploring how we offer more training opportunities to our volunteers and how we might even build towards qualifications.

Pat is already hard at work and we hope Churches will see the impact of her work very soon.


Ordinary Director 3’s Report: Sean Taylor

Sean is leading the Union’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion work and has begun not only to build on the success of the previous OD but consider new avenues with this work. Importantly, Sean has begun to train the NEC on different legislative aspects of EDI as well as the connection between the law and EDI.

Sean is planning to work more closely with Churches and DCs on the legislative framework of equality ,diversity and inclusion.

 

Sean’s guiding vision is to make the Union fit for the 21st century. That requires not only recognising and celebrating where diversity and inclusion exist within the Union, but also having meaningful conversations about how we can effectively enable people to experience inclusion and reflect wider society across the Union.  Sean is also helping our churches and centres be better educated in an ever changing world, ensuring equality is first and foremost for our members and visitors to our churches.


Science working party

Penny Hayward OSNU and her team continue to work on the development of the science aspect of Spiritualism, building on the very successful day they held at the Barbanell centre. It was brilliant to welcome over 50 delegates who took part in the day, with over 30 people online. The working party’s success will continue to be reported back to members and there will be more opportunities for members to engage in this important work.

Take Part Here


 

Nominations

Lastly may I ask our members to not listen to gossip As the nomination process comes around once more. I am privileged to hold the position I do and will continue to as long as the members want me to.

Remember always You hold the power and You make the decisions regarding your Religion. 

As always, I want to thank all our Committees and volunteers who help to make Spiritualism the wonderful religion that it is.

Minister Jackie Wright - President of The Spiritualists' National Union 

 

 

Our Promise 

We as your NEC continue to serve you and the churches