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From Val Williams following her weekend in the NorthEast

I have just returned from a weekend in the North East - firstly to Craghead church for a Demonstration of Mediumship organized by the District Council, and then weekend workshops and services at Darlington Church. Back in the 1980's I read "Listen my Son" a small book about the wonderful medium Hunter Selkirk - it was my inspiration for many years and so to have actually worked at the church and stood alongside a photo of this medium 30 years later was a wonderful experience, as was the warm welcome I received at Craghead church - the meeting being chaired by the President of the District Mark Bradley.  I was still on a high the following morning when I did day one of a two day workshop - the enthusiasm of the students matched my own and we had a wonderful day where true respect to Spirit was the order of the day, as was the second day workshop, both days being enhanced by the presence of Tony and Barbara Penketh (Barbara brought so many wonderful cakes we could not eat them all) Now home I am reflecting on the whole experience and I can honestly say that the hospitallity in the North East takes some beating - the respect the officers of the churches and the District Council was obvious and this has made me very happy to have been invited back next year. My thanks to Les and Brian for hosting me and to the District Council for allowing me to fulfil a dream - to work at Craghead church, Minister Val Williams. I hope this is alright-will look up the Website when I have more time, Thanks very much,Val

AGM March 2019

It was my pleasure to chair the NDC AGM at Ashington & Bedlington SNU Church this afternoon.

December 15 Blog

To all Individual Members, Church Committees and Church Members and all Spiritualists may I take this opportunity to wish you Seasons greetings.

As ever the District Council Executive hope you all have a very enjoyable Christmas and are able to enjoy spending some relaxing time away from Church during the festive break.

2014 has been an interesting and challenging year for the Executive which you will see when the Annual Reports are circulated.

We have managed to make a wish by Minister Val Williams come true thanks to Craghead Church.

An unprecedented number of people have received Long Service Awards this year as well as 2 people receiving Gold Service Awards our congratulations to them all. They are more in the pipeline and it is good to see churches recognising members in this way.

On behalf of the DC Executive thank you to everyone involved in our Churches whether it be as a Committee Member or Church Member. Your efforts are appreciated.

From 2015 there will be a £5.00 charge for those attending Healing Review days.

We are looking at putting on a bus trip to the National Arboretum for the 4th July 2015 if interested please let me know.

The Study Group on the first Monday of each month currently held at Darlington is proving to be very popular would your Church be interested in hosting a study Evening please let us know. 

Dates for diary’s

7th  March 2015 Back to Basics Workshop £5.00 at Horden SC

28th March 2015 NDC AGM at Seaton Delaval

2nd May Back to Basics Trance Workshop £15.00 at Horden SC

8th August 2015 Meet the NEC at North Shields Details to follow

26th September 2015 £10.00 Colour & Healing Minister Chris Denton Philadelphia SC

Healing Review Days all from 10.00am  - 4.00pm

11th April 2015  Day 1 £5.00             Billingham SC

6th June 2015 Day 2 £5.00      Sunderland Grange Terrace

5th September 2015 Day 3 £5.00 Birtley SC

1st November 2015 Day  £5.00 North Shields

There are also plans to hold a Trance event at Newcastle Spiritual Evidence Society.

In 2014 we introduced the NDC Spiritualist of The Year Award so what better for 2015 but 2 new Awards The NDC Healing Award and The NDC Education & Exponent Award

And no I haven’t forgotten we host the SNU AGM at the Gosforth Park Marriott Hotel in July.

Just in case you haven’t seen the latest blog by the SNU President I have included what I feel may be of some importance.

Changing legislation for the rating of Church property
The Union is currently working in conjunction with one of our affiliated Churches to challenge the decision of the local Rating Office which has declared that parts of the Church property are now subject to business rates following changes to legislation in November 2014.
Basically, charitable registration affords the Church an 80% exemption from business rates and registration as a place of worship affords an additional 20% exemption, subject to discussion with the Local Authority, which all Churches should aim for.
The Union will defend this individual case strongly but we counsel all Churches to ensure they are registered as a place of worship and should they be contacted either by their local council or a representative from the Rating Office they should contact Head Office without delay.

 

Meet the NEC 2015
Invitations have been sent to all District Council Presidents to hold a day during 2015 which will afford members of the District a chance to meet with representatives of the NEC.

The timetable will be as follows:
Morning : DC Executive meet with the NEC.

Afternoon: Churches and members of the DC meet with representatives of the NEC.

Evening: A fund-raising activity to promote ‘Spirit in Action’. This will not be the usual demonstration of mediumship.

All funds raised will be allocated to the District to support the ‘2018 - Our Big Year Initiative’.

To date the NEC has agreed the following events:
8th August - Northern District - venue to be arranged
Three representatives from the NEC will attend each event and all accommodation and travel costs will be met by the Union.

 

Spiritualist Healing Day
Resources are being provided to promote the new Spiritualist Healing Day due to take place on the third weekend in January 2015. PR Prohibition are also working to promote this new initiative with local and national media.

 

Minimum Schedule of Insurance for Churches
A new minimum schedule of insurance has been agreed by the NEC and following consultation with our brokers this must include £100,000 Trustees Indemnity Cover as required by the Charity Commission.

The Schedule will be issued shortly and will replace the current schedule issued in the Treasurer's Manual.

Many of our Churches insured with Ecclesiastical are now being required to have an asbestos survey, full electrical survey, PAT Testing, Health and Safety Policy and Safeguarding Policy; Churches which fail to provide these documents are facing large increases in premium or refusal to renew. Churches are recommended to check the insurers' requirements and the criteria for renewal well in advance of the renewal date to avoid facing last-minute problems and the prospect of having to close the Church should cover be refused.

Every SNU Church was issued with a copy of the Safeguarding policy by the Union in 2012 and a revised version of this policy will be issued in 2015 to reflect changes in legislation. Any Church which becomes aware that it has a Registered Sex Offender in attendance should contact the National Safeguarding Officer for immediate advice. Contact Redwoods for the dedicated telephone number.

 

And finally all the best for 2015

Mark Bradley CSNU

NDC President

 

OGM 21 June 2014

NDC OGM 21 June 2014

 

Presidents address

 

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a lot to get through today so I will try to keep this address brief.

 

Since the AGM both Mr Jim Robson LSSNU and Mrs Dorothy Dent CSNU LSSNU have passed to the spirit world. Their physical presence is sadly missed.

 

There have been the following changes on the NDC Executive committee: Minister Nora Shaw TSNU has taken on the Healing rep and Lyceum rep roles. Linda Finch has moved to Individual Members Rep. Eleanor Gladstone, who was originally co-opted as an ordinary member has now become a Councillor.

 

Sadly, I have to report that Whitley Bay Church will not be reopening. Due to lack of membership support and lack of funds required to make the building safe for public use, which would cost in excess of £20000.00.  The NEC have been reluctantly forced into the decision to dissolve the church, as the full membership had fallen below 13. For all those present at the Members meeting held in March, wished to try to reopen the church, there were only 4 full members in attendance. Before reopening could be considered, a Condition of Building Survey was carried out, which showed in its current condition it was unsafe for public use and that lives would be put at risk.

 

It is with regret I inform members that Ashington SC has been placed under the supervision of the DC. 2 individuals have been debarred from serving on a committee for a period of 3 years.

 

It may seem that this address has been nothing but sad news, however on a positive note there have been several applications for Long Service Awards and presentations will be made once awards are received from The Training & Awards Committee 

 

There is one more thing that I have to bring to members attention.  It is not often that I comment on rumours normally I ignore them that way they will eventually die a death, however, I must make an exception in this particular case. It has been said that an independent organisation has the full backing of both the SNU President and NDC President, I can categorically state that this is in fact totally untrue.  The only churches that have the full backing of the SNU and NDC are SNU churches.

 

On Saturday we had an informative talk on Safeguarding by Minister Tony Penketh DSNU.

 

Tony was invited to do this due to Churches not following the correct procedures regarding Registered Sex Offenders rights to attend our Churches. Churches should not contact the District Council.  The National Safeguarding Co-ordinator should be contacted directly either by email nsc@snu.org.uk or telephone  07539 053974.

 

There is no need for anyone on the District Council to be involved as the only people who should know if a registered sex offender is attending a Church are the NSC, the RSO and 3 of the Church Officers.

 

It was further explained that there is a contract which only allows the  RSO to attend a Divine Service and that at least one of the Officers would need to be present.

 

During a discussion it was asked about banning someone with a mental health condition from a church.

 

The District Council Executive is concerned about this as everyone has a right to worship and be treated with respect and dignity; they are also entitled to privacy. No one should be labelled in this day and age and in doing so is actually an act of discrimination.

 

To ban someone because they have a mental health condition would contravene Schedule 2 of the Rules for Churches it would also contravene the 2010 Equality Act.

 

  

Schedule 2

Equal Opportunities Policy Statement

 

This SNU Church is committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging diversity amongst all who enter this Church.

 

Our aim is that we would be truly representative of all sections of society; to that end the purpose of this policy statement is to provide equality and fairness for all who enter our premises.

 

This SNU church opposes all forms of unlawful discrimination and under the discrimination Act we will do all within our power to ensure that members and visitors will be treated fairly and with respect. We aim not to discriminate on grounds of gender, marital status, race, ethnic origin, colour, nationality, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, religion or age; no form of intimidation, bullying or harassment will be tolerated.

 

Any complaints will be actively investigated by the church committee and will result in the appropriate action being taken if they are found to be proven.

Presidents Address 2014 NDC AGM

Presidents Address 2014 NDC AGM

 Mark Bradley CSNU, LSSNU

The last year has been a bit of a mixed one and has been challenging at times. There have been some enjoyable moments sadly there were disappointments as well.

Juggling between Family, Friends, Work, The District Council, DC Education & Healing, SNU Healing Committee, Church Committee along with other ad-hoc tasks for the SNU and of course sorry Lynda I have to mention the F word Football has been difficult at times but overall I think I got the balance just about right. Although I do have to thank both Seaton Delaval and Shildon for rearranging meetings so I could go Old Trafford and Wembley.

There is nothing to prepare anyone for the role of DC President not even serving on Committees at Church, District, and National level or even on the NEC which I compared to having 2 full time jobs at that time. The experience gained from these helps so does working with a great team and I am tremendously proud of everyone on the DC Executive they have all contributed enormously over the last 12 months offering advice and support and keeping me calm at times and on the right track when needed.

Thank you each and every one of you for all you have done since last years AGM.

At times health lets us down and gets in way and prevents us achieving what we want to do this is when others have stepped in and assisted and done what is needed. 

In the Northern DC we have been fortunate to have had good DC Secretary’s   Carol who took on the Secretaries duties temporarily in 2009 has decided to stand down as DC Secretary, on behalf of everyone thank you for the time effort dedication you have given to the Executive and Churches in our District and hopefully you will find your new role on the DC Executive pending the declaration of elections later today as fulfilling and rewarding but not as demanding.

Occasionally mistakes are made we are human like everyone else therefore it a natural to err. However we apologise move on and endeavour not to make them again.  A recent error was the omission of the position of National Councillor from the original nomination papers sent out in January for which we apologise.

However as the National Councillor’s position doesn’t fall until the close of the SNU AGM in July we have been able to correct this by sending out a nomination form for this position only, the nomination process closes on the 10 May 2014.  A declaration of election will be made at the June OGM.

When a member of the DC Executive offers any help or assistance to a Church or an Individual Member it is a genuine offer not just idle words. The Churches that have been placed under Supervision can testify how much effort, work, dedication is given when that offer is taken up.  

It was great to attend the Rededication at Craghead and thoroughly enjoyed by all in attendance. I also represented the NDC at the service to celebrate the life of Gordon Higginson at the Arthur Findlay College. As well as at the Walk of Peace at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

At last years AGM I stated that I planned to visit every SNU Church in our District and completed this last Sunday thank you everyone for the warm welcome this also give the opportunity to promote the DC and let churches and individuals know we are there to offer support, advice and assistance. We have shown that we are approachable and have engaged more with churches and members hopefully taken away some of the fear factor. As an Executive we plan on increasing our visibility over the coming year so that we are not just voices at the end of a phone, one of the ways will be by including photographs of the Executive on the NDC Website. Another way is hopefully going to ease some of the pressures on the new secretary by the Councillors being the first point of contact for Churches. There is going to be more use of the NDC Website which was totally revamp by John Marr to keep Churches and Members informed of any changes and regular updates after DC Meetings.

Sadly there are still 8 churches being supervised to me this is 8 too many Newcastle Spiritual Evidence Society came out of Supervision last year and we give them our congratulations.  Unfortunately 2 further churches were placed under supervision by the NEC. Of the 8 Supervised Churches 2 are on Stage 1. 3 at Stage 2 and 3 at Stage 3 all being well those at stage 3 will be under their own steam sometime in the next 12 months.

The DC Executive continues to work with the churches concerned to get them back on a sound administrative footing.

The SNU NEC asked the DC Executive to carry out 3 Investigations in the last 12 months. 1 of these resulted in a member of the DC being suspended pending the outcome of the investigation they have since be removed from the executive and debarred from holding  offices on the DC EC. Debarment from eligibility for all offices within all affiliated bodies for 3 years and debarred from eligibility for all offices within the Union for 5 years.

This resulted in the Executive co-opting Eleanor Gladstone as an Ordinary Member. Thank you Eleanor for the amount of work you have done in such a short time.

As you have heard in Arisen Workers some members who had previously served on the DC Executive or DC Sub-Committees passed to Spirit over the last 12 months namely Minister Stan Jones, Jim Drew, Margaret Wright and Mona Riley our loss is spirits gain

Some of you will have seen the recent article in relation to Willington SC under the heading County Durham spiritualist church president in court on £15,000 fraud and theft charges. The trial is set for August not April as reported and is expected to last up to 5 days.

On the 27 September The SNU President Minister David Bruton will be doing a fundraising event in aid of the DC and the SNU Charity for 214/15 it will be in either the Newcastle or Sunderland area depending on which of the 2 football teams are at home that day.

As everyone is aware the NDC is hosting the 2015 SNU AGM at the Marriott Gosforth Park Hotel over the course of the 17th to the 19th of July 2015.

Any offers to assistance over the course of the weekend and any donations towards the tombola and raffle would be greatly appreciated please contact Lyn Bradley who is the co-ordinator on behalf of the DC.

In the Annual Report we have reported the closure of Whitley Bay Church I am delighted to inform you following a meeting with members on the 4 March that the Church will be reopening in the near future please keep eyes open for an announcement of when.

I attended a church AGM recently and the Church President was speaking about the repairs that needed doing and how they would be a beacon again once these were done.

That reminded me we have 31 beacons, actually 32 with the District Council. All shining brightly each spreading the word and religion of  SNU Spiritualism week in week out  whether it be through Divine Services, Open Circles Healing Services, Lyceums, Awareness and Development Classes. 

Each one promotes the Religion Science and Philosophy of Spiritualism they are all run by teams of volunteers again thank you for your dedication.

The SNU NEC introduced the Respect Initiative at its AGM.  It came about due to the number of complaints and general disagreements within our organisation, which with a little thought and rational thinking may be avoided.

In a nutshell it is about communicating with each other, using which ever method is appropriate and to get us all to think about the way we treat each other.

Having said that there is only one method of communication that I am not a great lover of and that is Social media sites like Facebook or Twitter I cannot understand why people wish to air everything in public and through experience have found its causes more problems than its worth as once something is posted it is in the public domain and although postings can be removed they can also be shared and copied before that is done. Hopefully an electronic policy won’t be to long in pipeline from the NEC.  

I am a firm believer that anything can be resolved by talking with each other even if we agree to disagree. Let us all embrace this initiative and foster mutual respect between each other. Let us put our 3rd Principle into practice by actually communicating directly with one another and allowing the ministry of angels to begin the healing process.

The District Council Executive is not just an Administrative Branch of the SNU we are here to serve and support both Churches and Members and that is what we want to do and what we will actually do.

As we move forward as an Executive we want to build on the foundations laid over the last 12 months by continuing to work together along side each other, supporting and assisting whenever needed to promote SNU Spiritualism throughout each and every community in OUR DISTRICT whether it be via Philosophy, Demonstrations of Mediumship, Healing, Educational Events, Coffee Mornings or Open Days.

And finally I close this Address by saying We are here for you when needed.

First Post

To all Individual Members, Church Committees and Church Members may I wish you Seasons greetings.

I hope you all have a very enjoyable Christmas and are able to enjoy spending some relaxing time away from Church during the festive break.

2013 has flown over for myself and has been very eventful for the District Council.

Thank you to everyone for making me welcome when I have visited churches I stated at the AGM of the SNU Northern District Council that I would visit all 31 Churches by the 2014 AGM, to date I have visited 21 the remaining 10 will be visited by the AGM.

It has been good to see Churches assisting and supporting each other Mediums from one Church whether they are Speakers, Demonstrators or Healers going to other churches to ensure a Church Service goes ahead and members going with them to add their support.

Thank you all for your continuing service and your efforts to promote SNU Spiritualism.

Our thoughts at this time of year will also turn to those that are no longer with us but have taken their transition to Spirit. Their daily presence is sadly missed but we take joy from the time we were fortunate to spent with them.

Healing thoughts to each and everyone.

Looking ahead to 2014 The DC Executive have introduced a new award. The SNU NDC Spiritualist of the Year. This is open to Individual and Church Members and Nomination Forms will be sent out early in the New Year. 

On behalf of the NDC Executive I wish you a Merry Christmas and All the Best for 2014

Mark Bradley CSNU

NDC President.

 

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