Edition 67

National Executive Committee Meeting,

10th and 11th June 2022 via Zoom 

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 each NEC meeting and also shared via social media, meaning that it now reaches several thousand people with each new edition.

If this is your first time of reading, I trust the information shared is useful in keeping you up to date with the workings of the Spiritualists’ National Union and the support it provides to its members and Churches alike. 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 with a view to increasing transparency and inclusion at all levels of the organisation.


 

Annual General Meeting 2022

This year’s AGM takes place via Zoom on 16th and 17th July; to register please click on the booking form link below, you must register prior to the meeting to be able to join the zoom meeting on the day.

How do I Attend?

We are hosting our AGM via zoom this year, you must register your place to be given access to the meeting on the day. To do this please fill out our booking form. For more information or help registering please contact us.

Booking Form 


Peace Walk at the National Memorial Arboretum

This special day sees Spiritualists from around the UK gather together, seeking to bring peace into the world, an uplifting service of peaceful prayer, readings, singing and inspirational words. Spiritualism is a peaceful religion, and Spiritualists are aware that our thoughts and actions have the capacity to bring peace to the individual, to their communities, to their countries and to the whole world. Starting with personal responsibility, and an acceptance that we are all connected, we are able to make a difference. 

There is no charge to attend this event, held on the first Saturday of July every year. We start the day with a service at 14.00pm then followed by a walk to the arboretum, everyone is welcome and parking is free to SNU members!


Rules for Churches

Finally we have received approval from the Charity Commission and a copy of the latest Rules for Churches will be sent to every affiliated Church and an order form for additional copies. Church Committees are directed to Rule 3 (2), which requires that:

(a)  The Church must issue a copy of the current Rules for Churches free of charge to:-

  • every member of the Committee;
  • any other member of the Church on request.

 The NEC has yet to agree when the Rules will be updated again but this is likely to be no sooner than three years' time. The new addition has many new changes from the 2018 edition and Committee members are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the new edition. The Union will shortly develop a training video which will explain the changes and the effect these may have upon the Churches.

The Rules come into effect upon the date of issue to the Churches of the free circulation copy.

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The Ministry grows

The NEC approved the following people newly appointed to office:

 

Officiants:

Iris Eva Wuethrich

Wendy Lyons

Rachel Casson

 

Ministers:

Julia Almond

Eamonn Andrews

 

We extend our sincere congratulations to each candidate who has worked hard to achieve this appointment.

 


Churches in Arrears

As at 12th May 2022 73 churches had not yet submitted their Part One Returns and affiliation fees; Church secretaries are reminded that these are due for submission in January every year, so it would help the Union if these could be brought up to date.


Volunteer Tutors Required

EECom is currently looking to recruit members who would be prepared to volunteer as Education Tutors; you would need to hold either a CSNU or DSNU in one of the disciplines and be prepared to dedicate some of your free time to help educate the next generation of Spiritualists with a view to building a stronger movement for the future.

 

In the first instance apply to the Secretary of EECom.

Email Education & Exponents Committee


Bye-laws F, Complaints

At its meeting the NEC approved the latest edition of Bye-Laws F, which regulates all complaints within the Union; this has been totally rewritten with input from the Complaints Committee and we hope that the changes made will help and support members should they have cause to complain.


Bye-laws G – Healing Code of Conduct 

A new Healing Code of Conduct drafted by the Education & Exponents Committee (EECom) was presented and approved and will be issued to Churches and Registered Healing Mediums in due course.

 

Motions for the Annual General Meeting

  1. Special Resolution requiring three-fourths majority


That Article 39, paragraph (1), sub-paragraph (i), clause (3), be amended to read as follows:-

 

(3)     Membership of a sub-committee of the National Executive Committee during a period or periods totalling not less than three years within the seven years immediately prior to the date of nomination; or

 

National Executive Committee

 NOTE OF EXPLANATION: The existing clause (3), reading as follows:-

 

(3)     Membership of a Standing Committee or a sub-committee of the National Executive Committee during a period or periods totalling not less than three years within the seven years immediately prior to the date of nomination; or

 

has a reference to Standing Committees, which were abolished in 2018. This reference was not deleted earlier because it would have disenfranchised those who were still able to fulfil this qualification; however, from this year onwards it is no longer possible to have been a member of a Standing Committee for three years within the immediately preceding seven years.

 

  1. Special Resolution requiring three-fourths majority

 That the Articles of Association be amended as follows:-

 

(a)  Amend Article 16 to read as follows:-

 

  1. Associated Bodies

A society or other body (whether incorporated or not and whether under sole management or not) shall be eligible to become an Associated Body if its objects are such as to promote those of the Union, subject to such conditions as may be prescribed in the Bye-laws.

 

(b)  Amend Article 66, paragraph (1), sub-paragraph (h), to read as follows:-

 

(h)    Associated Body        A society or other body for the time

being in association with the Union in

accordance with Articles 16 and 17.

 

National Executive Committee

 NOTE OF EXPLANATION: Under the Union's existing Articles of Association bodies under sole management cannot constitutionally be accepted into association with the Union; these amendments permit such bodies to be eligible for acceptance into association.

 

  1. That this Annual General Meeting requests the National Executive Committee to amend Bye-laws A and B to remove the provision for a double-envelope system for nominations and voting in elections at both national and district level to be replaced by a suitable and secure on-line system for members to nominate and vote in elections within the Union.

 

The Council

NOTE OF EXPLANATION: The National Council considers the current system to be both costly and wasteful both financially for the Union but also from an environmental perspective; a replacement on-line system would both save valuable resources and be easier for the membership to operate.

 

  1. That this Annual General Meeting requests the National Executive Committee to send every District Council a copy of all future Support Officers' reports regarding Churches under support within their areas.

 

North Lancs & Cumbria District Council

NOTE OF EXPLANATION: The District Council Executive Committee feels that the decision to exclude District Councils from this process was counterproductive and this motion enhances the level of support which the District Councils can provide to the Churches within their districts.

 

  1. That the proxy voting right given to Churches, Kindred Bodies and Pioneer Centres under Bye-laws B7 be extended to Individual Members at District Council general meetings.

 

A.M. Dibben, Individual Member


SNUi Programme Statistics

April:
Total sessions of 134.

63 Total events.

81% Open events on Programme.

May:
Total sessions of 122.

49 Total events.

88% Open events on Programme.

Social Media

YouTube:
Total subscribers have reached 1,343.

Facebook:
Total Facebook likes stand at 6,967. Total Facebook followers stand at 7,586.

Programme of Events

We have added four new tutors to the SNUi Programme.

Healing Awareness Week for 2022 was very successful and we are already planning for next year.

Many guest presenters have offered demonstrations, workshops and lectures; SNUi members have enjoyed them.

An evaluation process is underway to look at the inclusion of more Open Access events.

National Representation

Thailand has now joined our list as a represented country with an SNUi member.

 

 

Work in progress

  • We are continuing to evaluate our SWOT Analysis to ensure that we are progressing SNUi.
  • Work has begun with the PAS team to reorganise PASi so that it operates more smoothly for all.

 


 

Healing Training update

The 'What Happens Next' card has been sent to Head Office for reissue and the new revised training kit has been issued to all Churches and District Councils.


 

Strategic Review

We have now completed all of the 'Meet the NEC' meetings across the country and closed the online questionnaire; the two initiatives have created a large and rich dataset, which was discussed at length during the NEC meeting.

 

Did you know that 99% of the people surveyed are proud to be a Spiritualist?

The next stage in the process is to appoint some task and finish groups to take sections of the results and see how the ideas can be developed to the benefit of the Union. It has been agreed that a session at the AGM will be dedicated to the Strategic Review, which will provide an opportunity to update the members on the results of the research and where this is likely to take us in the future. With a view to ensuring delivery of the maximum number of issues a new Strategic Action Plan will be developed to ensure that nothing gets missed.


PhD Research

The Publicity & Promotions Committee has been supporting one of Professor Chris Rowe’s PhD students, who is looking at the benefits of mediumistic development. We have been able to help get survey participants and have recorded an interview with the researcher (who took part in an 'Audience with the President' with Chris). The research is unique in that it hopes to establish the aspects of development that are helpful and provide guidance to clinicians to better deal with people who are experiencing spirit communication so they are not pathologised. The researcher has joined SNUi  as a matter of personal interest and development (and not as a part of her research), so the research has the potential to be quite insightful.

 


Churches under Support

During the NEC meeting three Churches were removed from support; congratulations to Eltham, West Wickham and Bognor Regis Churches as they return to normal operations.


RE Council

Julia Almond OSNU attended a webinar on 6th June about the National Statement of Entitlement and draft handbook to support it.

Three example frameworks with exemplar units of work are being written by three different teams, who have been selected from 11 providers who submitted bids:-

 

  1. Gillian Georgiou – RE advisor for diocese.
  2. Jen Jenkins – RE and Spirituality advisor for Coventry and Warwickshire (also Diocesan rep.); the team includes five primary and five secondary teachers. Theme of Peace and Reconciliation in the area - Coventry Cathedral. Looking at primary to secondary progression.
  3. Nikki McGee – Norfolk Inspiration Trust-led – involving academies.

 

Trevor Cooling gave an introduction to the Statement of Entitlement –
It is not about specific content but, rather, an approach which says how we can approach and handle content from different religions, etc.

There have been some concerns re academic rigour and moving away from past approaches but students have to explain their position on what they have learnt and researched. It is, however, a paradigm shift in how content is presented.

The intention behind the handbook is to support curriculum writers and syllabus developers; it is not designed to be used by classroom teachers.

Materials should be published in mid-2024.

Stephen Pett has been developing the handbook. He is a former Head of RE and chair of SACRE. He gave further information about the handbook, which he had introduced at the AGM.

Special Services

In the last few weeks the President has conducted an Anniversary service at Welwyn Garden City Church and attended 60th Anniversary celebrations at West Wickham Church.

 


 

500 Club

The draw takes place once a quarter and next time it could be you who wins! Contact Redwoods if you are interested in taking part, supporting the Union and potentially winning some great cash prizes. Participation is open to non-members also, so why not ask your families and friends to join us? Churches and Centres are also welcome to take part, with any winnings going to help Church funds.

You have to be in it to win it!

 


Next NEC Meeting

The next NEC meeting is scheduled to take place on the eve of the AGM on 15th July 2022 and will be conducted via Zoom. The next Council meeting will take place on Saturday 24th September 2022 as an in-person meeting, pending possible change, to be held at the Barbanell Centre.

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Minister David R. Bruton

President of The Spiritualists' National Union

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Thought for the Day

It is never too late to be what you might have been. -George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)

Mary Ann Evans born 22 November 1819 known by her pen name 'George Eliot'. Although female authors were published under their own names during her lifetime, she wanted to escape the stereotype of women's writing being limited to lighthearted romances or other lighter fare not to be taken very seriously. She also wanted to have her fiction judged separately from her already extensive and widely known work as a translator, editor, and critic. Another factor in her use of a pen name may have been a desire to shield her private life from public scrutiny, thus avoiding the scandal that would have arisen because of her relationship with the married George Henry Lewes

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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]

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