New year – new beginnings

By Sue Farrow

The wrapping paper’s recycled, the decorations are down, and amid resolutions to join the gym, cut down on the wine (or whatever our own particular indulgence might be!) or even just get a few more early nights, we set out on another year of new opportunities.

Some of us will enter 2011 with optimism and excitement, others of us with anxiety and even fear, but one thing is certain – we’ll all be in for change of some kind or another.

In last month’s issue we reported on the SAGB’s decision to move to new premises after decades in its impressive Belgrave Square home. Change can often be seen as negative, and many of you have written to us or commented on this website expressing sadness that the SAGB’s plans may be yet another sign that Spiritualism is in terminal decline.

But isn’t that up to us? If Spiritualism has lost ground, is there any reason why that ground can’t be regained? Ever the realist, SPN’s Geoff Griffiths enters the year in fighting spirit with his article Heartaches by the Numbers and makes an offer that could be hard for those running churches and centres to refuse…

We also take a look at the recently released memoirs of Eric Hatton and report on an innovative new scheme from the Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary. Lis Warwood tackles the issue of the much-publicised 2012 prophecies and asks whether they have any relevance for Spiritualists.

Leslie Price fills us in on some interesting online resources relating to Helena Blavatsky and Emma Hardinge Britten, and Jim Warwood offers something completely different with his practical step-by-step introduction to the art of dowsing.

Other news includes the soon-to-be-released film The King’s Speech, whose central character Lionel Logue was speech therapist to King George VI and in real life was a convinced Spiritualist and friend of Hannen Swaffer.

That late, great pioneer Tom Harrison has been busy again and we cover his clever communication to an old friend. And last but not least, medium Michael Bagan tells how it felt to demonstrate for the first time at the UK’s most thriving Spiritualist church.

Next month we begin a new series – For and Against – in which two well-known commentators with opposing views on a particular spiritual or philosophical topic will debate the issue. To kick off the series, Roy Stemman and Leslie Price will get stuck into the thorny issue of reincarnation. If there’s a subject you feel passionately about and would like to see debated in a future edition of SPN, let us know.

We’ll also be launching a new monthly feature called Spotlight on the Churches, in which we’ll take a look at the work of an outstanding church or centre. If you know a place that does everything (or nearly everything) right – high quality evidential mediumship and philosophical talk, welcoming atmosphere, innovative workshops, well-run development circles and other events – please let us know so we can give it the publicity it deserves.

And finally, please keep your comments, e-mails and news coming – they are a vital part of SPN. Paul, Magnus, Geoff and I wish you a happy, healthy and productive 2011. May it be a year in which more people than ever become aware of the spirit.

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4 responses to “New year – new beginnings

  1. Mike Goodall

    Nice to see issue 3 on the web; many thanks to Sue and the team.

    This may be relevant to your comments about us losing our way (just received via the Spiritual grapevine)…

    IMPORTANT RECALL NOTICE

    Vital For Your Health and Well-being!

    The maker of all human beings is recalling all units manufactured, regardless of make or year, due to the serious defect in the primary and central component or heart. This is due to a malfunction in the original prototype units, resulting in the reproduction of the same defect in all subsequent units. This defect has been technically termed, Subsequential Internal Non-Morality, or more commonly known as S-I-N, as it is primarily symptomized by loss of moral judgement.

    Some other symptoms are:
    a. Loss of direction
    b. Foul vocal emissions
    c. Amnesia of origin
    d. Lack of peace and joy
    e. Selfish, or violent, behavior
    f. Depression or confusion in the mental component

    The manufacturer, who is neither liable or at fault for this defect, is providing factory authorized repair and service, free of charge, to correct this SIN defect, at numerous locations throughout the world. The number to call for the recall station in your area is: 0800-THE GREAT SPIRIT

    WARNING: Continuing to operate the human unit without correction, voids manufacturer’s warranty, exposing owner to dangers and problems too numerous to list and will result in the human unit being permanently impounded.

    PRAY THIS NOW: “Dear Great Spirit. Please fix me by making me new on the inside. I receive, and acknowledge, the Great Spirit now. Amen”.

    Author unknown.

  2. Spiritualism is in decline and you do not have to look any futher than the SNU/NEC. Why don’t you ask your readers to send in stories on how badly they have been treated by the SNU/NEC and you will uncover an organisation which can make up its own rules outside of their byelaws, basically feels it can do what it likes, uses people to run churches and get involved in committees etc. and then drops then from a great height in a brutal nasty way. Class B memberships are falling and churches are being closed. Not quite in line with their objective of promoting the religion of Spiritualism. Mike Goodall’s symptoms above certainly apply.

  3. Patricia Smith

    Being a spiritual person is about the way you live, the way you treat people, being non-judgemental – you do not need an organisation for this .

  4. The problem with Organizations is organization! everyone has an opinion which is usually different to everyone else’s! This leads to debate… which finds that there is a need for structure within the organization to enable debate to be organized!
    So they make rules for debating in a structured way that is organized to allow people with opinions to speak on a level playing field….. So that all people can understand what the basic principals of the original organization was/is. Then they all go off on tangents from the original opinion and thoroughly fudge the issue, This is then called Spiritualism SNU style or more commonly Politics!

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