Spiritualism and the eternal life

A way of life, not a strange cult, that lets us understand our true spiritual nature

Spiritualism is not as is commonly believed, a strange cult meeting in darkened rooms to 'call up the dead', but an officially recognised religious movement with its own churches and Ministers who possess the same rights and privileges as other religions.

Unlike most other major religions, Spiritualism does not tie individuals to a creed or dogma. We have Seven Principles which act as guidelines for the development of a personal philosophy of how to live one’s life:

1. The Fatherhood of God
2. The Brotherhood of Man
3. The Communion of Spirits and the Ministry of Angels
4. The continuous existence of the human soul
5. Personal responsibility
6. Compensation and retribution for all good and evil deeds done on earth
7. Eternal progress open to every human soul

Spiritualism is a religion that embodies the main ideas of all religions. We believe in the existence of God and that there is a life after death. In our churches you find people from all religions and all walks of life, we do not demand that they ‘convert’ rather that they find their own way to God and Spirit within their own understanding and supported by the church.

There are more than 350 SNU churches across the UK who are organised and administered by the Spiritualists National Union.

We work to promote spirituality, to stimulate spiritual growth and foster understanding.
Spiritualism is also a science, it is based upon well proven facts that can be demonstrated and scientifically classified. Spiritualism promotes the search for truth in every department of existence, in nature and in human psychology, and is therefore the science of life. We are constantly researching, studying and exploring how to measure, improve and develop further our abilities.
Spiritualism is a philosophy as it attempts to understand man and the universe in all their varied relations, physical, intellectual, moral, and spiritual. Our philosophy is not based upon one book but rather from varied resources and disciplines.

The difference between Spiritualism and other religions is the ability through Mediumship to prove that the human spirit survives death. Our services are taken by Spiritualist Mediums, who are individuals, able to communicate with those who have died, and provide conclusive evidence of their continued existence in the Spirit World to their families and loved ones here. During the service the Medium speaks inspirationally about philosophy and its connotations upon mankind, much as a vicar would give the sermon.

We also have Healing Mediums who are able to attune to the spiritual energies and give hands on healing to individuals to compliment the healing process in mind, body and spirit. Mediums are highly sensitive people who have developed their spiritual and psychic abilities – which each one of us possesses to a greater or less degree – women’s intuition is an example. Some are born mediums, others take years to develop. As each person is an individual we each approach our own spiritual development in our own way, supported by teaching mediums, church development groups and circles, which guide us through the process of unfolding our abilities and enable us to discover our potential.

There are education courses available to allow further insight and learning and we have the Arthur Findlay College based in Stansted which holds residential courses for anyone to attend in order to learn more about the many aspects of Spiritualism.

It is a way of life and provides the individual with an understanding of their own spiritual nature and the way in which they relate to God, the Universe and Spirit.

Libby Clark is an Officiant of the Spiritualists National Union who has been a working Spiritualist Medium for 30 years. She is a Course Organiser / Tutor at the Arthur Findlay College, and works worldwide as a Spiritualist medium, teacher, healer, trance healer. www.libbyclark.biz
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Cabinet audit: what does the appointment of Andrea Leadsom as Environment Secretary mean for policy?

The political and policy-based implications of the new Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

A little over a week into Andrea Leadsom’s new role as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), and senior industry figures are already questioning her credentials. A growing list of campaigners have called for her resignation, and even the Cabinet Office implied that her department's responsibilities will be downgraded.

So far, so bad.

The appointment would appear to be something of a consolation prize, coming just days after Leadsom pulled out of the Conservative leadership race and allowed Theresa May to enter No 10 unopposed.

Yet while Leadsom may have been able to twist the truth on her CV in the City, no amount of tampering will improve the agriculture-related side to her record: one barely exists. In fact, recent statements made on the subject have only added to her reputation for vacuous opinion: “It would make so much more sense if those with the big fields do the sheep, and those with the hill farms do the butterflies,” she told an audience assembled for a referendum debate. No matter the livelihoods of thousands of the UK’s hilltop sheep farmers, then? No need for butterflies outside of national parks?

Normally such a lack of experience is unsurprising. The department has gained a reputation as something of a ministerial backwater; a useful place to send problematic colleagues for some sobering time-out.

But these are not normal times.

As Brexit negotiations unfold, Defra will be central to establishing new, domestic policies for UK food and farming; sectors worth around £108bn to the economy and responsible for employing one in eight of the population.

In this context, Leadsom’s appointment seems, at best, a misguided attempt to make the architects of Brexit either live up to their promises or be seen to fail in the attempt.

At worst, May might actually think she is a good fit for the job. Leadsom’s one, water-tight credential – her commitment to opposing restraints on industry – certainly has its upsides for a Prime Minister in need of an alternative to the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP); a policy responsible for around 40 per cent the entire EU budget.

Why not leave such a daunting task in the hands of someone with an instinct for “abolishing” subsidies  thus freeing up money to spend elsewhere?

As with most things to do with the EU, CAP has some major cons and some equally compelling pros. Take the fact that 80 per cent of CAP aid is paid out to the richest 25 per cent of farmers (most of whom are either landed gentry or vast, industrialised, mega-farmers). But then offset this against the provision of vital lifelines for some of the UK’s most conscientious, local and insecure of food producers.

The NFU told the New Statesman that there are many issues in need of urgent attention; from an improved Basic Payment Scheme, to guarantees for agri-environment funding, and a commitment to the 25-year TB eradication strategy. But that they also hope, above all, “that Mrs Leadsom will champion British food and farming. Our industry has a great story to tell”.

The construction of a new domestic agricultural policy is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Britain to truly decide where its priorities for food and environment lie, as well as to which kind of farmers (as well as which countries) it wants to delegate their delivery.

In the context of so much uncertainty and such great opportunity, Leadsom has a tough job ahead of her. And no amount of “speaking as a mother” will change that.

India Bourke is the New Statesman's editorial assistant.