Spiritualists' National Union

The Spiritualists' National Union (SNU) is a Spiritualist organisation, founded in the United Kingdom in 1901, and is one of the largest spiritualist groups in the world. Its motto is Light, Nature, Truth.

Over its history, it has organised test cases regarding the legal status of spiritualist mediums, with regard to such matters as exemption from compulsory military National service. In legal terms, spiritualist mediums were considered to violate such laws as the Vagrancy Act 1824, which outlawed fortune telling, and the Witchcraft Act 1735. The Union campaigned against these laws for many years.[1][2][3][4] They were eventually repealed by the Fraudulent Mediums Act 1951, which legalised the practice of mediums unless it was shown that they were profiting financially from a fraudulent service. This act was repealed in April 2008, and fraudulent mediums are now covered by consumer protection legislation, namely The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.[5]

It has also performed more everyday services, such as organising war memorial services in the wake of the First World War.[6]

The Union later organised educational courses in spiritualism-related subjects, and has participated in scientific research into mediumship.

In 1995 the SNU acquired the publication Psychic News, which it ran until it was closed in July 2011, later reopening under different ownership.[7]

Mission Statement and Goals In 2000 the SNU adopted the following mission statement:

To Promote the Religion and Religious Philosophy of Spiritualism as based upon The Seven Principles

It also re-defined its goals as:

  • To procure perfect religious equality
  • To assist in the formation of new Societies and Churches
  • To strengthen the fraternal relations between Spiritualists
  • To increase all classes of membership
  • To print, publish and distribute literature
  • To promote mission work
  • To do all such lawful things as are for the advancement of Spiritualism

In November 2018 the SNU represented Spiritualism for the first time at the National Memorial Service, held at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London. [8] Minister David Bruton joined other faith leaders. The SNU's presence built on other efforts in this area, including the obelisk built at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire[9] which is the focus of its annual Peace Service every July.

Spiritualist Church, Hampton Hill
Hampton Hill Spiritualist Church


The SNU was founded on 18 October 1901 as the Association of the Spiritualists' National Union Ltd. In 1916, it campaigned to get government recognition for the religion of spiritualism.

The Seven Principles

The Philosophy of SNU

Spiritualism is based upon seven principles. The Principles are not intended to be binding rules or the basis of a dogma but to provide a moral and ethical framework upon which people can base their lives.

1. The Fatherhood of God. The core belief of the religious philosophy of Spiritualism is the acceptance of a Divine Energy. This force, whatever name given to it, has created all there is and sustains all its creation. The ‘Spirit of God’ exists within and around everything. It is within all of us: we are all children of God so are part of one family. We acknowledge God as our Father.

2. The Brotherhood of Man. We are all part of the universal creative force and therefore one family in God. The operation of true Brotherhood throughout the word would create betterment to the lives of many, bringing equality, security and peace. Spiritualists try to understand the needs of others and help all people regardless of race, colour or creed

3. The Communion of Spirits and the Ministry of Angels. Communion with divine energy is a natural and essential part of existence. Communication between Spirit itself and its creations is an inbuilt ability. Spiritualists use this ability for communication directly, or via a medium, between those in the spirit world and ourselves. This is not supernatural; it is a normal activity. The main purpose of communication with the spirit world is to provide the evidence which supports our philosophy. The Ministry of Angels brings enhanced wisdom to enlighten the individual, society and the world in which we live. This includes those who are dedicated to the welfare and service of mankind bringing inspiration guidance and healing.

4. The Continuous Existence of the human soul. Spirit is part of the ‘Creative Force’ and thus indestructible. Energy cannot be destroyed; it can only change its form. After death the physical body is left behind whilst the soul continues to exist in a different dimension that we call the spirit world. The individual personality continues unchanged by the event we call ‘death’.

5. Personal Responsibility. In His wisdom, God has given us enormous potential; we can use that potential to improve our own lives and the lives of others. We have the ability to make decisions throughout our lives as we see fit. What each of us makes of our life is our Personal Responsibility no one can replace or override that right. No other person or influence can put right our wrongdoings.

6. Compensation and Retribution hereafter for all the good and evil deeds done on earth. This Principle expresses the natural law of ‘cause and effect’. This law operates now, on earth, as well as in the spirit world. As we move through life making choices, the outcome of those choices affects our soul growth. When we leave this earthly life there will be no divine judgement. We will have the opportunity to reassess, take stock and decide what might have been done differently.

7. Eternal Progress open to every human soul. Eternity does not begin at death; Progress is open to all now! Any action, or intent to change, to promote soul growth and progression, creates a positive reaction. There will always be the opportunity to develop and move forward, no one is ever deprived of the all embracing love of God.

These principles were the summary of faith of Emma Hardinge Britten, a pioneer for the UK's Spiritualist Movement and were adopted by the SNU. Emma was a medium and gifted orator and it was during her many speeches in trance state, that 'spirit communicators' gave various statements of faith. This resulted in the creation of the Seven Principles of Modern Spiritualism in the UK. Many believe that the influence of the 'spirit' of Socialist Robert Owen was paramount in this process.

Recent Presidents

  • 1970 - 1993 Gordon Higginson
  • 1993 - 1996 Minister Eric L. Hatton
  • 1996 - 2000 Minister Judith J. Seaman
  • 2000 - 2010 Minister Duncan P. Gascoyne
  • 2010 - to date Minister David R. Bruton
  • Hon. Presidents-in-Spirit: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Gordon Higginson
  • Hon. President: Minister Eric Hatton
  • Hon. Vice-President: Minister T. Horton, Minister D. Hudson

See also


  1. ^ "High Court of Justice. King's Bench Division. Spiritualists and Military Service. Oaten vs. Anty". The Times. April 8, 1919. p. 6.
  2. ^ "News in Brief". The Times. July 5, 1927. p. 13.
  3. ^ "Spiritualists and the Law: Mr Morrison's Statement". The Times. December 16, 1943. p. 2.
  4. ^ "Spiritualists and the Witchcraft Act". The Times. July 20, 1946. p. 2.
  5. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/spiritualism/history/history.shtml
  6. ^ "News in Advertisements". The Times. April 17, 1919. p. 9.
  7. ^ Stemman, Roy (Jul 10, 2010). "Death of 'Psychic News'?". Roy Stemman's Paranormal Review. Archived from the original on 3 April 2013.
  8. ^ https://www.snu.org.uk/news/armistice-day-2018
  9. ^ http://www.thenma.org.uk/whats-here/the-memorials/memorial-listing/

External links

Alec Harris

Alexander Frederick Harris (1897–1974) was a Welsh Spiritualist medium.

Arthur Findlay

Arthur Findlay MBE JP (May 16, 1883 – July 24, 1964) was a writer, accountant, stockbroker and Essex magistrate, as well as a significant figure in the history of the religion of Spiritualism, being a partial founder of the newspaper Psychic News and also a founder of the International Institute for Psychical Research. In his will he left his home, Stansted Hall, to the Spiritualists' National Union.

Arthur Findlay College

Arthur Findlay College is a college of Spiritualism and psychic sciences at Stansted Hall in Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex, England.

Stansted Hall was built in 1871, and the college was founded there in 1964. In accordance with Arthur Findlay's wishes, the college building and grounds are administered by the Spiritualists' National Union (SNU). The head offices of SNU at Red Woods are within the college grounds. Course prices include daily meals, tuition and accommodations.

Cecil Husk

Cecil Husk (1847-1920) was a British professional singer and spiritualist medium.

Charles Bailey (medium)

Charles Bailey (1870–1947) was an Australian apport medium who was exposed as a fraud.

Colin Evans (medium)

Colin Evans was an early 20th-century Welsh Spiritualist medium who claimed to have the ability to levitate but was discovered to be a fraud.

Doris Stokes

Doris May Fisher Stokes (6 January 1920 – 8 May 1987), born Doris Sutton, was a British spiritualist and professional medium. Her public performances, television appearances and memoirs made her a household name in Britain.During her lifetime, she was a controversial figure, with some believing her to possess psychic abilities. Investigations published after her death demonstrated that she routinely planted unwitting accomplices in her audience.

Ethel Post-Parrish

Ethel Post-Parrish (died 1960) was an American Spiritualist medium.

Frank Decker (medium)

Frank Decker was a 20th-century American spiritualist medium who was discovered to be a fraud.

Gordon Higginson (medium)

Gordon Mons Higginson (17 November 1918 – 18 January 1993) was a British spiritualist medium.

International Spiritualist Federation

The International Spiritualist Federation is a society dedicated to supporting spiritualist churches around the globe, with particular emphasis on those based in countries which do not support spiritualism as a religion. The federation was first proposed at an 1888 conference held in Barcelona, but was officially established in 1923. Every year since then they have run courses and held lectures for one week which attempt to raise awareness of spiritualism. Particularly notable was the 1925 conference attended by then head of the organisation, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who blamed ectoplasm for his faulty slides during his presentation.

Jan Guzyk

Jan Guzyk (1875-1928) also known as Jan Guzik was a Polish spiritualist medium.

List of Spiritualist organizations

This is a list of Spiritualist organizations:

Agasha Temple of Wisdom

Arthur Findlay College

Camp Chesterfield

International Spiritualist Federation

National Spiritualist Association of Churches

Spiritualist Association of Great Britain

Spiritualists' National Union

Psychic News

Psychic News was a weekly British Spiritualist newspaper published from 1932 to July 2010, and revived with a change in ownership in December 2011.

Rita Goold

Rita Goold was a British psychic and spiritualist medium from Leicester.


SNU may refer to:

Skilled nursing unit, a type of resident care

Solar neutrino unit, a unit of measure in neutrino astronomy

Spiritualists' National Union, spiritualist organisation, founded in the United Kingdom

IATA airport code SNU: Abel Santamaría Airport, an international airport serving Santa Clara, Cuba

Spirit world (Spiritualism)

The spirit world, according to spiritualism, is the world or realm inhabited by spirits, both good or evil of various spiritual manifestations. Whereas religion regards an inner life, the spirit world is regarded as an external environment for spirits. Although independent from the natural world, both the spirit world and the natural world are in constant interaction. Through mediumship, these worlds can consciously communicate with each other. The spirit world is sometimes described by mediums from the natural world in trance.

Spiritualist Association of Great Britain

The Spiritualist Association of Great Britain (the SAGB) is a British spiritualist organisation. It was established in 1872.

Spiritualist church

A spiritualist church is a church affiliated with the informal spiritualist movement which began in the United States in the 1840s. Spiritualist churches are now found around the world, but are most common in English-speaking countries, while in Latin America, where a form of spiritualism called spiritism is more popular, meetings are held in spiritist centres, most of which are non-profit organizations rather than ecclesiastical bodies.

History and beliefs

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