Edition 38


NEC Meeting Friday 9th to Sunday 11th February 2018

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.

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.


SNU Today

The membership circulation was posted out in the second week in February and a copy of the latest issue of SNU Today is included, which is an excellent way to keep up to date with everything SNU. The circulation also includes nomination forms for the Officer and other positions coming up for election this year, so be sure to return your nomination form to Head Office.

The pack also includes a booking form for the 2018 AGM, which will be held at the Cedar Court Hotel, Huddersfield. There is an error on the form, which should reflect the normal Friday to Sunday duration of the AGM weekend, but if you book as usual, using the form, we will ensure your booking is correct prior to processing.

A nomination form for Church of the Year is also enclosed, which is your opportunity to celebrate excellence amongst our Church community.


Ashington and Bedlington Church - Northern District

The Union is pleased to announce the successful merger of these two Churches and we wish the members of the newly-formed Church all good wishes for a bright future.


Yardley Wood Church - West Midlands District

Church services have been suspended at this Church from the beginning of January after the Committee resigned en bloc. A members' meeting will be called shortly with a view to reopening the Church.


Plymouth Brunswick Church - Southern Western District

The Union completed putting a new Committee together and the Church reopened on Sunday 18th February.

Walthamstow Lyceum - East London District

Sadly, attempts to create a Committee to reopen the Church failed and a resolution was passed at the meeting to close the Church, a move the Union very much regrets.

Healing renewals

All SNU Healing mediums are respectfully reminded that the registration renewal date is 1st April 2018; a completed application for renewal needs to be at Redwoods by this date, as anyone who has not submitted their renewal application will not in the future be covered by insurance and should not practise healing. Healers will not need to wait for their credential cards to be returned to them to obtain cover provided they have posted their renewal. Healers are reminded that renewal payments can be processed by direct debit, which is much the safest way of ensuring your renewal is made and the insurance cover continues.



Newly-launched under the News and Events tab on the Home Page of www.snu.org.uk, this regular feature includes the views of prominent Spiritualists on current events and subjects of interest, regularly updated to keep the articles topical.


Keeping our Spiritualism pure

Churches are respectfully reminded that symbols and artefacts from other religions have no place in an SNU Spiritualist Church, as these can only serve to confuse people seeking for a religion that is different from many orthodox faiths. Whilst we fully respect everyone’s ability to choose their own religion and welcome all comers to our congregations, an understanding of what it truly means to be a Spiritualist should help the seeker of truth to find a home within our Churches.


Changes to Data Protection legislation

New Data Protection legislation will come into force in May this year and this is probably going to affect the way the Union and its Churches gather, maintain and dispose of personal data. A working party has being established and guidance will be provided to the Churches in advance of the new legislation coming into force.


Caring for the environment

Following a meeting of the new working party a first draft of a new leaflet of guidance for Churches was reviewed by the NEC. Once amended, this will be circulated to help support our Churches to be more environmentally friendly places to visit.


Policy documents

The completion of a Health and Safety policy and a review of the Safeguarding policy are now complete and were agreed by the NEC; following proof-reading these will now be prepared for circulation.


Application for Church Membership form

The Union has now revised the Church membership application form, which will be available from Head Office in hard copy or from the membership section of the website.


Church Administration Accreditation Scheme (CAAS)

Following a review the Chairing and Administration Scheme is to be renamed the Church Administration Accreditation Scheme with a view to supporting and educating Church Committee members.

 Two new trifold leaflets

The Exponents Committee are to launch two new leaflets, one on Spiritual Healing and one on Taking your Mediumship to the Next Level, which is a guide to Accreditation and training and awards. These will be published shortly when the proof-reading and design stage of issue are complete.


Healing Forum

The Forum has agreed to hold another Healing Awareness Week, which will take place between 30th April and 12th May. The four main national organisations, including the SNU, have agreed to each pay £250 to establish a stand-alone website to promote the event. Further details and marketing material will be available shortly via our website.

On Saturday 5th of Open Week at the Arthur Findlay College we will hold a demonstration of healing in the style once conducted by Harry Edwards; this will see a large group of healers all working together under the leadership of Minister Steven Upton and this promises to be a very special event not to be missed. Tickets for this event will go on sale in March when Open Week 2018 is launched.


Arthur Findlay College

The College completed another successful year and bookings for 2018 look strong to date. The Christmas closedown heralded the normal opportunity to catch up with some important maintenance and deep cleaning. The bar has been remodelled, with improvements to the furniture and lighting, and work begins shortly on decorating the Blue Room and the ensuite rooms, which will be refurbished whilst we continue to operate. The windows in the Sanctuary also required some remedial work, which was completed during January.

We still await news on the planning concerning the Museum but it is hoped to also get the Tutor Room refurbishment completed whilst we continue to trade, which we will facilitate by moving the tutors' quarters to the Annex for the duration of the work.

The new AFC website was launched in January, together with the programme for 2019; the new site is designed very much along the lines of the new SNU site and is much more user-friendly, with many new features making booking courses at the College very easy.

Barbanell Centre

Work continues on the acquisition of Jarvis House; we have had one or two problems with planning and we are arranging to extend the long-stop date on the purchase just to ensure that all the planning is in place before we complete the purchase. This has now been agreed by the vendors of the property. It is still hoped to bring the accommodation on-line before the end of this financial year.


Ministers Administration Committee

The Committee are working on an action plan to develop the future of the Ministry within the SNU and plan the necessary growth needed within the Ministry.

On 9th February World Woman’s Interfaith Conference met and the SNU was represented by Minister David Hopkins, the Interfaith Ambassador, and Minister Brenda Newall from MAC.

The next Faith Communities Forum is to be held in London on 15th March and the SNU will be represented at that meeting.

Religious Literacy: The Financial Director visited the House of Commons to attend the All-Party Working Group on Religious Literacy; several speakers spoke to the debate but time to ask questions was very limited.


Two Ministers pass to spirit

January 2018 has seen the passing of two well-known and much-respected Ministers to spirit who both played an important part in the Union over the years. Minister Dorothy Hudson passed away in early January at the age of 102; her funeral took place on 19th February at Smethwick Church in the West Midlands. Dorothy was a former Treasurer of the Union.

Minister Bill Nedderman passed to spirit also in January; Bill was also at one time a member of the NEC and in later years became the Healing Leader at Stansted Healers. Bill was a dedicated and wonderful healer who served over many years and touched the lives of many. Bill's funeral will take place on 6th March at Shrewsbury Crematorium.

Our thoughts and prayers go to both Dorothy and Bill as they begin the next stage of their eternal journey.


Finance Committee

At its last meeting the Finance Committee reviewed the Churches in arrears for 2017 and the number of Churches still outstanding is very small; the Union is working via Head Office to ensure that all Churches have paid their affiliation fees by the due date.

All District Council accounts have been completed, using the new spreadsheet system, and the necessary changes to Byelaws to enable the change to internal inspection from external inspection, with the actual audit process conducted as part of the main Union audit by Price Bailey, went out in the February circulation, so they are now active with immediate effect.

Price Bailey have started to conduct a full VAT review of all the Union's accounts with a view to reducing the amount of irrecoverable VAT currently paid to HMRC.

The Union has completed its annual review on its investment properties ahead of the full Union audit due to start in March.


Exponents Committee

The Committee has been working hard to transform what was known as healing upgrades into the new Healing Accreditation Scheme; all papers have also been reviewed and a private interview is now included in the process, bringing healing into line with PAS and other awards.

All District Council Healing Representatives have been informed of the new procedures and have been provided with copies of the private interview questions so that they can be introduced as Review Days. All future Final Assessment Boards will operate within the new system. To bring CAAS and PAS into line with the healing system, all three disciplines will now have ten questions for the private interview.



The SNUi Committee is now up to strength following the appointment of Kerry-Marie Callander. The Committee are still experiencing problems with the new database but Head Office are working hard to rectify these issues. The new website also seems to be having teething problems but, again, we are working towards solutions.

The introduction of a video capability to the site is now complete for the main classrooms and it appears to be working well. This brings a whole new dimension to SNUi and we hope this will greatly improve members' experience of the site.

The SNUi programme saw the introduction of six presentations on the scientific aspects of Spiritualism in the 21st century; the President of the Union was the guest speaker for the first in the series and other speakers from a scientific background will feature in future presentations.


The SNU on Twitter: from small beginnings we now have 91 followers on Twitter and in the most recent 28-day period the total impressions from Spirit in Action was 10,000. 

Following the promotion of the Healing Day in January attention now turns to Hydesville Day at the end of March; should any Church be organising a special service or celebration, would they please let the Communications director, Alv Hirst, know. 

Minister Barry Oates' booklet, ‘21st Century Perspective’, which looks at a fresh approach to the Seven Principles, has now been translated into Italian.

The Publicity & Promotions Committee are working on developing a ‘Visit a Spiritualist Church Day’, which is aimed at welcoming new people through the doors of our Churches.

The new SNU website, launched last October, continues to go from strength to strength; in the last 28-day period available we had 8,000 separate users, 61% of which were new visitors to the site. The new perspectives initiative published under the News and Event section of the site is also driving traffic through the promotion of the initiative on social media. 69% of our website users are female and 31% male, with the highest number of users falling into the 45-54 years of age category.

Spiritualism a Way of Life 

The Union has taken a stall at a Mind Body Spirit event to be held in November at the NEC in Birmingham; this is a trial project with a view to promoting the message of Spiritualism to a whole new audience who have interests in allied areas.

A Skype Conference was held on 19th January, chaired by Minister Suzanne Gibson Foy, with representatives of seven District Councils to discuss the FOR project. It was agreed to support the renaming of the project to  'Spiritualism – a Way of Life, a Religion for Living in the Modern World'. Two events will take place in June this year, based in the Merseyside & North Wales and North Lancs & Cumbria Districts, to further promote this work. Final changes will also be made to the FOR Toolkit prior to its distribution.


Trustees' Training

Following the NEC meeting a half-day session of Trustees' training was delivered by Stone King, our solicitors, to ensure that all members of the NEC are ‘current’ in their understanding of their responsibilities and company and charity law.

500 Club

The latest draw took place during the AGM, with one lucky member scooping a top prize of £1,000. Any member or Church or non-member wishing to join the scheme with a chance to win some excellent prizes should contact Jane Heatley at the Members Service Centre, Head Office. The odds of winning a prize are 14 to 1, which is better than the National Lottery.


 Next NEC meeting

The next NEC meeting will take place at the Barbanell Centre on 6th, 7th & 8th April 2018.  The next National Council meeting will take place at the Barbanell Conference Centre on Saturday 29th September 2018.


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]


Minister David Bruton 


Previous Blogs 

Presidents Blog | Edition 37 |

Presidents Blog | Edition 36 |

Presidents Blog | Edition 35 | 

Presidents Blog | Edition 34 |

Presidents Blog | Edition 33 |

Presidents Blog | Edition 32 |

Presidents Blog | Edition 31  |

Presidents Blog | Edition 30 |

Presidents Blog | Edition 29 |

Presidents Blog | Edition 28 |