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It’s nearly September, the summer comes and goes, and the new speakers list is on the web site.

An interesting month for our visitors:

Alternative evenings on 7th and 21st – as usual, bring your questions, a friend, an open mind, and £3 to get in.

Fledglings go for it on 14th – come and support those early on their pathway

Our Open Day on Saturday 17th – our doors are open all day, and we welcome everyone. Come and talk to us and find out more about Spiritualism – lots of things to see and do – and there’s tea and biscuits, too!

Saturday 24th is Coffee Morning – tea, coffee, biscuits (cake if you are lucky), and a chat – also mini readings with Minister Alan Baker.

We look forward to meeting you (and, of course, greeting old friends)

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Last night we were short of a speaker, so we thought it would be an ideal time to try out one of the SNU’s new-style services. (see snu.org.uk for full details)

For sometime there has been great debate about falling numbers attending the services. The conclusion is that the traditional service is outdated and unpopular with younger people. The SNU have designed some templates for bringing new ideas to church.

Last night we used the theme of Evolution. Not the evolution of Man or other species, but the evolution of the soul, and the thoughts that drive us. I won’t go on about how the service went, except to say that it was a lighter, more spiritual evening. There was less of the old style religiousness, and more focus on our own spirituality.

We will be having more services in this vein. As a short notice experiment – a success. Thanks to Minister Alan Baker for jumping in the deep end and running with the idea.

Membership renewals are due before the end of January 2016. Remember, in order to vote at the Annual General Meeting in April you will need to be a ‘paid-up’ member.

The annual membership fee is £8 (£7.50 concessions)

We welcome new applications, too. Membership is open to everyone.

Our Invitation …

It is the members who keep the church going. Without members the church would cease to exist. But what does ‘being a member’ mean?

Being a member of Havant Spiritualist Church means that you are a Spiritualist. You follow the Seven Principles, and when people ask, and you fill in official forms, your religion is Spiritualist. Not Christian. Not Islam. Not Mormon. Not Buddhist. Not Jedi. Not Other.

There is no strict dogma to follow, no special ceremonies to perform. We believe in God, but that may not be the traditional god of other religions. How I see my god may be different to the vision you have. Some see their god as a bearded man looking down from the sky, others as The Great Spirit that pervades all things, may be as Mother Nature. We don’t dictate how you see Her – or Him – or It. Very little is expected of you, except to live within the guidance of our Seven Principles and to be the best person that you can be. You know what is right, and wrong.

You get a membership card. But this card is not a free pass to Heaven, nor is it a ‘Get out of jail free’ card, nor is it a loyalty card for you to accumulate bonus points. It’s just one of those funny conventions that organisations have; to say you belong. You are one of us.

Membership means you get to have a say; to come to the AGM (Annual General Meeting), and cast your vote on matters that concern the running of the church. It means you can join the committee and really get involved in making the church a good place to be, a good organisation to be a part of, and a sanctuary or refuge, welcoming to others.

It means that you care. Care about the church, care about people around you, care about Spiritualism, care about the world, and everything in it.

If you want to support this church, and feel you can make that commitment, then be a member. We will welcome you. It doesn’t cost much. It is not an exclusive club; everyone is welcome.

If you have any questions, please ask any committee member. If we can’t answer straight away, we will find an answer for you.

The most valuable thing you can give is You.

Our website has been updated with our latest events, though April 2015.

Dash on over for a look! Come back again soon, we should be putting more info here as the year goes on, we’ve had some changes at the church …

I’ve been to many funerals; uncles, grandparents, great-grandparents, friends, work colleagues. Some big and fancy, some small and discreet . They have all taken place at a crematorium, I’ve never been to a burial.

Thing is, although I am familiar with the procedure at such an event – I know where to go, and what happens next, and what happens when we file out at the end – when you organise one of your own, it takes on a completely different context.

Recently my mother died after a stay in hospital. She had been poorly for some time and, when it became apparent she was ‘more than just poorly’ we summoned help. Once she had been admitted, the doctor gave us a prognosis. It was not good, but as Spiritualists we understood what to expect. With various ups and downs she got through the next few weeks. We had looked at nursing homes, because it looked like she would be able to have her last weeks of care outside of the hospital environment.

Unfortunately it was not to be. She took a turn for the worse, and within a few days had passed to Spirit. In a sealed envelope with the solicitor, she had left instructions for a Spiritualist funeral. And so it was. All the other arrangements were made, the last was to talk to our SNU (Spiritualists’ National Union) officiant and put together a service.

It’s not until you start to talk through the history, likes, dislikes and persona of the person who died, that you realise what an important phase in their life you are going through. Mother, for instance, had a reputation for being insular, independent and cantankerous in her later years (or even not-so late years), and until you start to re-live their story you don’t realise why this may have been.

Of course the other aspect of arranging a funeral, is the ceremony itself. What music should we play? What about prayers and hymns? What would they like? Unless you know them, this is guesswork. Luckily we at least know what mother wouldn’t like. So we have asked for something a bit different.a hurries

So, tomorrow I will attend another funeral. This time it is one that I have organised, it is I who have chosen the music, and the order of service, and all the other bits. I am responsible for the history that the officiant will re-tell. But will mother approve? Will she be smiling in satisfaction, or frowning because I included or left out something of relevance? Only if she comes through with a message from beyond the veil will I find out.  At the end of the day, the job will be done and formalities will be complete, and mother is in a better place. Friends and family may or may not approve, but that is for them to deal with. I have done what I think mother would have liked, therefore I am happy.

Life – it’s a funny old thing. What do you think?

The Autumn Newsletter is available on the Newsletter Selection page, so click on over.

A bit late uploading, due to work, illness and life in general, but I’m sure you’ll enjoy the read. There are extra pages and details of the events and speakers for October.

Leave a comment, tell me what you think.

Right, let’s get started on the Winter edition …

It’s been a busy month so far, with a fledglings evening, demonstration of mediumship by Jenny Docherty and a psychic supper. For the rest of June we have:

Sue Hayes, 15th; Eve Stevens, 19th; Helen Devita, 22nd; Ron Lindsley, 26th and Terry Taylor, 29th.

July kicks off with Sharon Spence, 3rd and John Stephenson, 6th. There are a couple of demos booked  – but more of those later.

The Summer edition of the newsletter is due out in the next few days, we’ll let you know when you can call in at the church and collect your copy. Don’t worry if you can ‘t get there, it’ll be available on line, too!

Thanks to everyone who came to the Open Day, it was a really successful and enlightening day. Our mediums, Ben Gator, John Stephenson, Judith Ford and Jenny Docherty, were kept busy all day. Our healers had plenty to keep their hands occupied, too!

If you didn’t come to see us you missed out on scrumptious cakes. There were home-made brownies, fairy cakes and banana cake. If you are lucky, you might win a Victoria sponge in the cake raffle, coming soon.

Anyway, you need to know about the rest of May;

Tomorrow, 8th – Sunday service with Rosa Fisher, 11th – Andrew Manship, 15th – Sarah Boden, 18th – Coleen Giddings, 22nd – Andrew Daniels, 25th – Pat Peacock, 29th – Sue Ellis.

On Saturday 28th there is a Demonstration of Mediumship by Ben Gator.

Flaming June kicks off with a Fledglings Evening on Wednesday 1st.

We’re well into April but there is plenty to keep you occupied.  The newsletter is available at the church, or you can download it from the Newsletter Selection page if you can’t get there.

This Saturday, 16th, we have an evening with Karen Lines. She will demonstrate her mediumship at the church. Be there before 7.00pm if you want to get in. She is also the guest speaker for the Sunday service.

Attention members – the AGM will take place after the Sunday service on 17th. This is the important meeting of the year when you get your chance to be involved in church decisions, so be there!

Jim Fitzpatrick, Bill Roberts and Alan Baker are our guest speakers for the rest of the month. My personal favourite event is the Quiz Night on Saturday 30th.

And then we’ll be in to May, and we start on Sunday 1st with Kim John Webb as the speaker for the service. Other speakers early in May include Cheryl Brennan and Rosa Fisher.

The Havant Spiritualist Church Annual Open Day is on Saturday 7th May, a chance to visit and find out what we get up to, and to ask any questions.  More on the open day will follow soon.

Have a good April!

Only a few days to go before the 2011 UK Census – Sunday March 27, 2011.  Question 20 for each individual is ‘What is your religion?’ It is a voluntary question so you don’t have to answer it, but for those of us who follow a less trodden path it is important to stand up and be counted.

At the bottom of the list is a tick box for ‘Any other religion …’ where we can enter ‘Spiritualist’, or whatever religion you follow that is not of the big six. Remember Spiritualism is not a sub-sect of the Christian church, we stand alone as a religion, recognised in our own right. Spiritualists National Union

There will be many Pagans and Jedii declaring their faith, let’s make sure we show our support of the Spiritualist movement, and get counted.

… and it’s only four days before Hydesville Day!