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.

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