The Stafford Spiritualist Church was founded in 1992, by Minnie Ellis and Geraldine Madden. The church met in the Labour Conference Rooms on the Wolverhampton Road then later the church moved to Meryck Road, then again to the St John Ambulance Hall in Stafford. Attendance at the Sunday services soon began to rise and regularly attracted around fifty people and plans were then put in place to set up a spiritual healing group. On the 27th of November 1999 the church moved to the David Jones Centre, subsequently renamed The Arthur Findlay Centre and in January 2017 became known as The Barbanell Centre.
Stafford Spiritualist Church is affiliated to the Spiritualist National Union which promotes knowledge of the religion and philosophy of spiritualism. It unites Spiritualists throughout the world and supports 350 Churches in the United Kingdom. It is estimated that about 40,000 members of Churches attend spiritualist services every week. There are 29 Churches in the West Midlands which are listed on the SNU West Midlands website.
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By the study of Nature – that is, by trying to understand the Laws of Cause & Effect which govern all that is happening around us – we recognise that there is a creative force in the universe. This force, or energy, not only created the whole universe, but also life itself in its many forms and is continuing to create today. The effects of this eternal creation can be seen around us and this leads us to the evidence that ‘God’ – ‘The Creative Force’ – manifests directly, or indirectly, in all things. We know this power as God and as we are part of the Life created by God, we acknowledge God as our Father.
Because we all come from the same universal life source we are, in effect, one large family, small individual offshoot from the whole. This means that all mankind is part of a brotherhood. A brotherhood is a community for mutual support and comfort. We are all members of the same divine family. We need to share our joys as well as our burdens; we need to understand the needs of other individuals in order to assist them as part of our service to each other. As we learn to give so must we also learn to receive thereby achieving the necessary balance for our life. We must look not only to the material necessities of our fellow creatures but also to their spiritual needs and help those in need to become strong and worthy of their relationship in the Family of God.
This is the key Principle to our Religion. All religions believe in life after death but only Spiritualism shows that it is true by demonstrating that communication with departed spirits can and does take place. Spiritualist Churches provide one of the venues where communication, through mediumship, is possible and many loved relatives and friends take advantage of this opportunity to continue to take an interest in our welfare. There are also spirit people/teachers who are dedicated to the welfare and service of mankind. Some (e.g. Silver Birch) bring inspiration and teachings whilst others work within the healing ministry.
It is scientifically proven that matter (being part of the creative force, or energy) cannot be destroyed; it merely changes its form. Spirit, as part of the Creative Force is, therefore, indestructible. On the death of the physical body, the spirit continues as an integral part of a world, which interpenetrates our world but in a different dimension. This world is referred to as the Spirit World. In spirit life we have a spirit body, which until we progress far enough, is a replica of our earthly body. We are the same individuals in every way with the same personalities and characteristics and we change only by progression, or otherwise, as a result of our own efforts. Our personal responsibilities do not stop at death.
This principle is the one which places responsibility for wrongful thoughts and deeds where it belongs – with the individual. It is the acceptance of responsibility for every aspect of our lives and the use to which we place our lives depends entirely upon ourselves. It is not possible for any other person, or outside influence, to interfere with our spiritual development, unless we are willing to allow this. No one can put right the wrongdoing except the offender. As we are given freedom of choice (freewill) so also are we given the ability to recognise what is right from what is wrong. We are totally, as well as personally, responsible.
As with all the other Principles, the natural laws apply and this one echoes the law of Cause and Effect (as you sow, so shall you reap). One cannot be cruel and vindictive towards others and expect love and popularity in return. It must be understood that the compensatory or retributive effects of this law operate now – on earth – they do not wait until we begin to live in the Spirit World.
In every heart there exists the desire for progress and to every human spirit belongs the power to progress in wisdom and love.
All who desire to tread the path that leads to perfection are able to pursue it. The rate of progress is directly proportional to the desire for mental and spiritual understanding. If we do our best in earth life to follow our inward prompting or intuitions; we shall find progress very easy, on earth as in spirit; if not, every step in advancement will follow a struggle against imperfections, which we ourselves will have worked into our natures. Within the Family of God, with all the advantages that our realization of that state can give us, we are all given the opportunity to be responsible for our own eternal progress.