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

 

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